Interactive profits. Part 1


Interactive fitness equipment is not new, it’s merely a part of an evolution that started 10 or more years ago. So I’m confused when discussion arises about whether the “new” interactive equipment will succeed. Debate about success or failure always arises when equipment that does something different is released, and logically so. But interactivity has been, and continues to be, in hot demand, and it should now be looked at as the next new profit center.

Evolving interactivity

The interactive fitness equipment now coming to market connects to the Internet. Transcape’s ICE Stations, available now for a couple of years, will soon feature a built-in connection to the Internet that allows members to surf the Web, participate in fitness incentive programs, view corporate advertisements and more. According to Karin Newman, marketing manager for Transcape Systems, when connectivity is available in early fall, it is unlikely that the company will even sell the ICE Stations without the interactive component. (Currently, the ICE Stations operate with interactive CDs.) This is how confident the company is that without online interactivity, success with the ICE Stations in the fitness center will not rise to its peak potential. Another new product, the Sportwall, is a computerized tennis backboard that, on top of providing tennis training, allows facilities to log onto the Internet so members can compete in Web tournaments. The Sportwall will be ready for market by the end of the year, according to Cathi Lamberti, Sportwall owner and designer.

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