Wearable Fitness Devices for the Fitness Industry #Filex2014 Business Summit


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I conducted this 20 minute presentation on wearable health & fitness devices at the Australian Fitness Network conference in Melbourne: #Filex2014. This is designed to #enhance your business.

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  • Let me share a conversation between innovatorGary Vaynerchuck and Debra Sienna, the President of Midtown Health at IHRSA last monthGARY: “I have seen what will crush your industry within 7 years unless you innovate. If your only differentiating factor is your physical facility, then you can expect to close.”DEBRA: “So Gary how long before this becomes available?”GARY: “It is there now!!!”
  • If you are expecting a comfortable ride today where I will tell you what you want to hear about wearable technology, you maybe disappointed. I will take you on a journey in a pair of shoes that your members, clients and prospects travel everyday. In fact, what will scare you is this . . . YOU are possibly on the same journey.You use mobile devices. You love that companies personalise experiences for you. You are excited about the new cool toys that are available for you. If you want your business to bust out from the competition umbrella embrace technology as much as your consumers are.
  • There are 3 key drivers for the future of your business around technology:The InternetMobile devicesThe cloudI am going to assume that EVERYONE in the room knows what each of these are, just maybe not how to use them to grow your business.
  • Before we tackle the technology we must first understand today’s consumer.They are living in their own Youniverse. And they expect you – no matter the size of your business – to be part of their Youniverse.Today’s consumers are being trained by companies and businesses that have more resources, capital and innovation than you. Nevertheless, your consumers expect the same level of personalisation and interaction. It is an unfair comparison but the consumer is doing it.They want more personalisation and technology is one tool to deliver as Phillip Mills says more people centric experiences.
  • The consumer needs in this article stands out like a member who still wears a unitard or g-string leotard. Your members want to:Measure to see improvement; andShare their journey.
  • At a recent visit to the Apple store there are 22 devices for sale that measure and monitor your physical activity.
  • As a result . . . This is what a 2014 exerciser can look like!
  • Today we are not focusing on aps . . . This is another topic but you can see the growth in this billion, yes with a “b” market over the last 3 years.
  • We are talking wearable devices.This is the Wandant which is a pedometer for dogs!
  • As we desire to measure more, we will see this ‘device’ industry explode to a net worth of over $50 billion by 2019. As an owner or manager you can put our head in the sand and hope and pray it doesn’t impact you or you can embrace the technology and use it to support, compliment and grow our businesses.Let me break the ‘device’ market into 4 categories:Apps that rely on us wearing our phonesWearable devices A – unobtrusive Wearable device b - obtrusiveEquipment technologyI will give my unbiased opinion on some of these today.I think it is imperative to acknowledge that all of these can be further broken down based on a critical criteria that I will call ‘accessibility.’ What I mean is how easy is it for me to get them and then use them.Category 1These devices and apps are easily accessible. You can download them for free or a small investment. These are the more expensive of the devices but are highly accessible with purchasing being available in many retail outlets and on-line. Within this box these devices and apps are in mainstream community. And their growth is a result of sharing via social media. Category 2These devices are our more traditional wearable technology that really is becoming antiquated. With the release of the new Samsung phone this week, which has its own heart rate monitor, the future of these strap on monitors looks bleak! Nevertheless, in the short to medium term they will still serve a purpose. However, importantly these devices are readily accessible. You can buy them in Rebel. Harvey Norman, on-line and other retail outlets.These devices, highly accessible with a low barrier to entry, These devices fairly accessible with cost being a barrier to entry.Category 3Is the wearable technology that we have in gyms. These devices are only available in our clubs. And for me this is a major speed hump that will slow the process of uptake. It is not a road block rather a speed hump.Somebody must be a member to get them and get maximum value. Forget the cost being a barrier to entry, being a member is the perceived barrier.
  • From crowd sourcing my social media connections, these are the more favoured apps. The key for these apps to work is they all reply upon a smart phone and then the internet. Your wearable device for these to work is your phone.I regularly see friends on Facebook sharing their run around the city through ‘Map My Run.’ I used Run Keeper to monitor my training for a half marathon last year. And my MAMIL friends – Middle Aged Males In Lycra – love to brag when they are ‘King of the Mountain’ on Starava.The exponential growth of these apps has been thanks to the virality of the apps. This means being able to share what you have done across your social media platforms.Gary Vayneruck says we live in a world where word of mouth is the most powerful it has EVER been! And social media is the plumbing that the message passes through.
  • The pedometer is now an antique. You can place this in the same category with a cardboard program card. They have been replaced by ‘acceloronometers’ that measure vertical steps, horizontal steps and can convert this to distance travelled and or calories burned.My research indicates that FitBit is the market leader probably thanks to celebrity endorsement, followed by the Nike fuel band and Jawbone trailing. In all honesty they do the same thing – tell you how far you have walked. These products in the last 12 months have made a massive leap into our mainstream community as they have become fashion accessories. Initially, a device to measure exercise now they are seen as a sign of status and something to match your clothing.You can now mix and match your wearable device!What is super cool with these is that all these have powerful back ends. As you can see I am more familiar with Fitbit, so let me use that as an example . . .
  • These devices all have communities. Groups of people that will support, coach and share their successes and failures with the device. These forums add enormous value to the $120 device.There are open and closed communities on Fitbit. You can take these communities one step further. You could have an open community for members or closed community for a program or a Personal trainer’s group of clients.This back end stuff means that you can offer personal training 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can charge for this and people will pay!
  • I would like to give credit where credit is due, the heart rate monitors are going through a re-surgence as they offer more! But as I said I think the time is nigh for these wearable devices.They can now be GPS linked. They can compare effort levels with others in the gym. They can be read on a watch or a machine.In a category that was once dominated by Polar, it is now getting crowded. My preferred devices are Polar, My Zone and Sunto. Outside the indoor fitness industry we see Garman dominating.From my perspective the best all round product is My Zone.
  • There are some very cool features I love about My Zone:My fav is MEPS – this is their measuring unit of your effort in a work out. It is like your frequent flyer points you accrue when you work out. While you cannot trade them into gain an upgrade from a facility perspective you can run numerous highly engaged program to promote activity and competition amongst members.You can push your workout results socially – great for getting the message out about My Zone.And there are is so much engagement possible within your club and your staff with this product. It seriously rocks for engagement.I participated in a My Zone class last year and loved it. Having an instructor encourage my work out levels was no different. What was different was the feedback that my heart was giving me on a screen. I could see I was working too hard or not hard enough. I loved the colours, the engagement and the instant feedback.My instructor that day was the boss of My Zone who loves the product and knows the product inside & out. And there lays a challenge with this product. The success of My Zone in your club is heavily reliant upon your staff. The experience of My Zone I enjoyed would have been nothing without Dave.I went into a club in Sydney that has My Zone and asked the receptionist if she could explain My Zone and she said “I have never heard of My Zone, so I cannot help you.” And that is the issue with not just My Zone all products we have in our clubs, all our staff must believe in the product. They have to spruik it or it will collect dust.
  • Now perhaps not wearable as per a strict definition but certainly devices that will #enhance your workout are the Technogym Wellness Key and the Preva system from Precor.With the Wellness key and the Preva tag, you have to carry them but boy do they pack a punch! The information they store on your workouts truly mean the paper workout card is a thing of the past!Both these products are wonderful in the own right. And I am sure that Life Fitness, Matrix, Star Trac and others have similar devices. The challenge again: having your staff spriuk it.
  • Not surprisingly if you head down to the Expo and chat with Paul or Xen or Andy they will rattle off every feature of Preva. Transferring that knowledge and enthusiasm to your staff is the challenge.I love Preva as its features appeal to the modern day consumer. There are are surprise status rewards that you earn. There is a messaging service for you to get messages to all members. There is the ability to sell advertising. There is on-line connection. And of course all this data is up in the cloud which can be access by the members or the staff.The most impressive feature for me around Preva, is not one you see or that your members will experience. It is that there are 32 full time people employed by Precor to make this better. They study the results that your members are getting from Preva and try to establish new features to improve adherence. This is a massive tick for me.
  • Amelia Burton’s program #Crack of Arse is a work out challenge to get people exercising at the crack of dawn. Rather than shy away from technology, Amelia embraces it. Her clients can use whatever device they like they just must show what they have done. They show this through by tweeting, facebooking or Instagramming the picture and using the unique hash tag ‘Crack of arse’This a screen shot of her Pintrest page where she shared her clients workouts.
  • The next couple of examples are not wearable devices but cool websites that encourage usage & similar to Amelia’s program your wearable device is the proof of the work out. Behind the scenes work is happening so that the commercial & readily available devices speak to these programs. Your Fitbit, jawbone or Runkeeper app will converse directly to these applications.And products like My Zone and Preva must do this too.
  • Gym Pact is an online community that hold each other accountable for working out through money!
  • Stikk a great website to encourage exercise adherence and sticking to your goals but betting you will achieve your goal.
  • Krowdfit are the new guys in the market place. They come from a corporate wellness background and their platform is designed to encourage exercising and entering a sweepstakes to win money.
  • In a world new things are launched every minute of every day, the wearable device category is NO different and in 2015 we will see at least TWO major game changers that make it difficult to predict the impact.
  • OM Signal have many of the features I have shared today built into clothing! No need to for straps, carrying devices or logging in. It all happens automatically – game changer!
  • Google Glass will be launched in Australia in 2015 . . . Enough said!This will not just change the game around devices it will transform how we deliver many of the services we currently have in our clubs. Once this becomes main stream over the next 5 years, who knows what the possibilities will be for teaching classes, delivering personal training and recording of work outs.
  • And finally, the game changer will be these SMART watches. As the world changed with SMART phones, expect a similar revolution around watches.
  • Talking about the impact of technology with many people is like talking about religion.At one end of the spectrum we have the atheist and the other end is the evangelist and you lay someone along this spectrum. Your current and future customers also fall along the spectrum. Remember though, your current and future customers are bombarded by the media and their friends pushing them to the evangelist end. They maybe kicking and screaming but they moving closer to the evangelist end than the atheist.You have ZERO choice if you want to meet the needs of the modern consumer.You may want to be the non-believer or even minimal believer in the space of technology. But if you are in the work out world you will face monumental future challenges. When you put your head in the sand hoping all this technological stuff will pass by, you leave something sticking up and vulnerable.
  • Wearable Fitness Devices for the Fitness Industry #Filex2014 Business Summit

    1. 1. 3 Key Drivers Of Your Business Future: 1. Internet 2. Mobile devices 3. The cloud
    2. 2. Welcome to the Youniverse “They will want fitness to be shaped around them. They will ask our industry to become more people-centric” Phillip Mills CEO Les Mills International
    3. 3. Wearable tech "the next big thing" and predicted it will grow from around $5 billion this year to $50 billion within five years.
    4. 4. My Zone
    5. 5. Preva.com
    6. 6. Can They Work Together
    7. 7. Great Example
    8. 8. Cool Stuff You Can Use
    9. 9. Game Changers
    10. 10. Justin Tamsett B.Ed (Phys & Health Education) Feel free to contact JT: jt@activemgmt.com.au or +612 9484 5501 Follow JT on Twitter: @JTActiveMgmt To read JT’s blog: www.justintamsett.com Become an Active Management Fan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/activemanagement And for more information on Active Management: www.activemgmt.com.au "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others." Pericles
    11. 11. Check out www.ActiveMgmt.com.au to become an Active Management Member to keep up to date with technology