The difference between a house and a home is how much you love living there. LaunchPad explores the innovative technologies that help you care for your space more effectively.
It’s not just the grueling workout ahead of you that makes getting to the gym a chore — it’s all of the little hassles between home and the gym. First, there’s the planning. If you’re going straight from the office, you have to schlep your gym bag around all day. Then there’s making sure you arrive during a time when there will actually be a treadmill available, or a spot open in the class you want. On top of that, there’s the never ending monthly or yearly gym membership you have to shell out for just to be able to go in the first place.
What’s the solution? Crafting your very own smart home gym. Whether you dive in and buy everything all at once or add to your collection over time, eventually you won’t have to leave the comfort of your home to get a good workout in. All you need is a little WiFi.
While the SmartMat is still in the pre-order phase, yogis looking to bring their practice out of the yoga studio and into their home without skipping a beat should definitely get in line. The first time you step onto the mat, it calibrates itself to your specific size, shape, and ability through a series of movements. Once that’s out of the way, actually practicing on the mat means real-time feedback on alignment designed to improve your specific yoga practice as you go. It also comes with a handy app that offers guided classes in case you’re not quite ready to take the solo leap.
Believe it or not, heart rate monitors have been replaced by smart watches and the Wahoo Tickr X exemplifies why: Its accuracy is unparalleled. The device has enough memory to last for 16 hours, capturing data that it sends to your phone once you return, which means you can leave the phone behind if you want to go for an unencumbered run around the neighborhood. The Tickr X can also track the now infamous Seven Minute Workout by counting your reps of exercises like sit ups and push ups.
Through a combination of smart insoles and footpods that strap onto your shoes, ARION measures everything from how your feet meet the ground to the specific movements that make up your running technique. Whether used on a treadmill or in the streets, ARION gathers all the information runners need to improve, then sends it to a smartphone app for real-time feedback.
There’s a reason you’ve seen the Peloton bike almost everywhere you go. At almost $2,000 for the bike and $39 a month for the subscription to the workout videos that flash across its 22-inch HD touchscreen, the investment is significant, but so are the rewards (of course, there’s financing available, too). The Peloton team focuses on a fusion of technology, design, and fitness in crafting its bike that centers around 24-hour, in-home access to live classes in their New York City workout studio. If you love the energy of group classes but hate having to make it all the way to the gym to enjoy them, you’ll be delighted with the group vibes that Peloton delivers.
If meeting with a trainer is what has kept you at the gym for all these years, the technology to let you cut the tie is finally here. Workout Trainer: fitness coach is exactly that, an app packed with thousands of free workouts. Users can tailor the difficulty levels to their particular needs, and the workouts are easy to follow, led by certified trainers complete with step-by-step instructions. Those who want to take it further can even pay for one-on-one training with a coach through the app, and Workout Trainer easily pairs with Apple’s Health app and the Apple Watch if you want to keep an eye on your vitals while you break a sweat.
Cinnamon Janzer is a freelance journalist and content writer based in Minneapolis. You can read more about her at www.cinnamon-janzer.com.