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features

Editor's letter: Big (fit) tech

We’re entering the age of the wellness mega-corp, with the ultimate goal for investors being to dominate health and wellness markets in every channel. Prepare to expect the unexpected in this convergence of health, fitness and wellness

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 1

The fit tech market continues to hurtle along, with major players building out their portfolios. Google’s acquisition of Fitbit and Peloton’s of Precor being recent, high profile examples.

Although each buy-out, merger or launch varies in scope and sequencing, the intended destination appears to be similar, regardless of the starting point.

Fundamentally, we’re seeing investors converging in a battle for the wellness consumer and control of the health agenda. Apple, Google, Peloton, Samsung and others are locked in a race to build out businesses which dominate all parts of the consumer health, fitness and wellness marketplace.

In a recent issue of Fit Tech magazine, for example, we talked to Samsung’s Sharon Hegarty about how the brand is creating a fully joined-up lifestyle portfolio. “We envisage a world in which somebody’s smart home and personal tech can support and react to their fitness regime,” said Hegarty. “Be it through suggesting a shopping list for meal planning, setting the lighting for a yoga session or optimising sleep quality.”

Samsung is not alone in this kind of wide-ranging ambition, as brands work to create frictionless wellness offerings which deliver for consumers in all areas of life – potentially extending to government and private health contracts eventually.

Although digital is the starting point for many fit tech investors, we all live location-based lives, so there will inevitably come a time when brick and mortar investments of some kind become part of these portfolios.

We ultimately expect to see big fit tech acquiring everything from gym aggregators, medical insurance companies and corporate wellness providers, to gym chains, high-street retail and home wellness tech providers.

The way things are shaping up, it’s likely many of these big fit tech businesses will end up a similar shape, once the key elements of their growth plans are in place.

Awareness of this trend will shape the way smaller and medium-sized companies invest, as they innovate and position for acquisition to complement the needs of investors who are pushing forward with consolidation.

This eco-system looks set to create fertile ground for development and growth at every level of the fit tech sector, in a world that will be obsessed with health for generations.

Liz Terry, editor, Fit Tech
[email protected]
@elizterry
Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
More features
Editor's letter

Two-way coaching

Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
Fit Tech People

Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
Fit Tech People

Adam Zeitsiff

CEO, Intelivideo
We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
Fit Tech People

Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
Fit Tech People

Mike Hansen

Managing partner, Endorphinz
We noticed a big gap in the market – customers needed better insights but also recommendations on what to do, whether that be customer acquisition, content creation, marketing and more
Interview

Mathieu Letombe

We’ve found 90 per cent of Withings users continue to regularly use their scales after one year and 50 per cent regularly continue using them after 10 years
Augmented Reality

Refining augmented reality

London boutique The Refinery has created an avatar-led digital fitness offering called ALFI, which utilises augmented reality (AR) to demonstrate movements. Zoe Bertali, one of the co-founders of the gym, tells us more
In conversation

Jessica Ennis-Hill: founder of Jennis

Jessica Ennis-Hill is on a mission to close the gender data gap in health research. Her app, Jennis CycleMapping, is designed to help women understand their cycles and how to train during each different phase. Steph Eaves speaks to Ennis-Hill to find out exactly how it works
Usability

How usable is your product?

Your fit tech product might be a game changer, solving problems or creating new possibilities for clients, but none of this will matter if it’s not easy and enjoyable to use. Industrial designer Nick Chubb explains why usability is key, and the factors to consider when designing your new product
Interview

Put on your red light

Red light therapy promises a variety of benefits, including better recovery, skin rejuvenation and increased energy, but is it all too good to be true? Fit Tech spoke to Bryan Gohl and James Strong of Red Light Rising, and Wes Pfiffner of Joovv to find out more
Interview

Kilian Saekel

By putting focus on tapping different lights and sounds while doing gruelling planks, you stop focusing on the pain
Origin Stories

Adrian Hon

Zombies, Run! is one of the most enduring fitness apps, with half a million users getting active while engaging in ‘missions’ against the zombie apocalypse. Its co-creator spoke to Steph Eaves about the power of story
App analysis

Digital community

Matt Stebbings of SLT Group talks about the creation of their Community Portal, a new platform that aims to help anyone to get active, whether that’s inside or outside of SLT’s facilities
Supplier showcase

Funxtion: A vital connection

NonStop Gym, Switzerland’s no frills gym chain, has appointed FunXtion to create its member training app
Research

Monitoring mental health

New technology uses advanced machine learning to monitor patients’ mental health between visits to their medical providers
Fit Tech People

Devi Mahadevia

Facebook director of sports and fitness partnerships
With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service
Fit Tech People

Andy Etches

Founder and sports director, Rezzil
Rezzil was able to have an injured player learning his new manager's philosophy, positioning and playing style – all from a seated position
Interview

Preston Lewis, Black Box VR

We’ve had to create training experiences that show users how to grab handles in the virtual world that are mapped to our real-world machine
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In just over two years, the fitness industry has experienced major disruptions to gyms, a boom in at-home fitness and the return of in-person workouts.
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Technogym Ride
Technogym
Technogym is proud to unveil the new Technogym Ride. Born from Technogym’s long standing experience in cycling field and as official supplier to the best cyclists and teams around the world, Technogym Ride is the first all-in-one bike that connects all your favorite apps in just one click. Read more
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GLL
We're a Charitable Social Enterprise owned by our staff and founded on our purpose and ...
On demand
Salt therapy products
Lockers/interior design
Management software
trade associations
25-26 Sep 2022
Bespoke, San Francisco, United States
In just over two years, the fitness industry has experienced major disruptions to gyms, a boom in at-home fitness and the return of in-person workouts.
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
1Life is an innovative lifestyle and management solutions company that engages with tens of thousands ...
GLL
We're a Charitable Social Enterprise owned by our staff and founded on our purpose and ...
Technogym Ride
Technogym
Technogym is proud to unveil the new Technogym Ride. Born from Technogym’s long standing experience in cycling field and as official supplier to the best cyclists and teams around the world, Technogym Ride is the first all-in-one bike that connects all your favorite apps in just one click. Read more
Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
Sign up
On demand
Salt therapy products
Lockers/interior design
Management software
trade associations
25-26 Sep 2022
Bespoke, San Francisco, United States

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features

Editor's letter: Big (fit) tech

We’re entering the age of the wellness mega-corp, with the ultimate goal for investors being to dominate health and wellness markets in every channel. Prepare to expect the unexpected in this convergence of health, fitness and wellness

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 1

The fit tech market continues to hurtle along, with major players building out their portfolios. Google’s acquisition of Fitbit and Peloton’s of Precor being recent, high profile examples.

Although each buy-out, merger or launch varies in scope and sequencing, the intended destination appears to be similar, regardless of the starting point.

Fundamentally, we’re seeing investors converging in a battle for the wellness consumer and control of the health agenda. Apple, Google, Peloton, Samsung and others are locked in a race to build out businesses which dominate all parts of the consumer health, fitness and wellness marketplace.

In a recent issue of Fit Tech magazine, for example, we talked to Samsung’s Sharon Hegarty about how the brand is creating a fully joined-up lifestyle portfolio. “We envisage a world in which somebody’s smart home and personal tech can support and react to their fitness regime,” said Hegarty. “Be it through suggesting a shopping list for meal planning, setting the lighting for a yoga session or optimising sleep quality.”

Samsung is not alone in this kind of wide-ranging ambition, as brands work to create frictionless wellness offerings which deliver for consumers in all areas of life – potentially extending to government and private health contracts eventually.

Although digital is the starting point for many fit tech investors, we all live location-based lives, so there will inevitably come a time when brick and mortar investments of some kind become part of these portfolios.

We ultimately expect to see big fit tech acquiring everything from gym aggregators, medical insurance companies and corporate wellness providers, to gym chains, high-street retail and home wellness tech providers.

The way things are shaping up, it’s likely many of these big fit tech businesses will end up a similar shape, once the key elements of their growth plans are in place.

Awareness of this trend will shape the way smaller and medium-sized companies invest, as they innovate and position for acquisition to complement the needs of investors who are pushing forward with consolidation.

This eco-system looks set to create fertile ground for development and growth at every level of the fit tech sector, in a world that will be obsessed with health for generations.

Liz Terry, editor, Fit Tech
[email protected]
@elizterry
Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
More features
Editor's letter

Two-way coaching

Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
Fit Tech People

Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
Fit Tech People

Adam Zeitsiff

CEO, Intelivideo
We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
Fit Tech People

Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
Fit Tech People

Mike Hansen

Managing partner, Endorphinz
We noticed a big gap in the market – customers needed better insights but also recommendations on what to do, whether that be customer acquisition, content creation, marketing and more
Interview

Mathieu Letombe

We’ve found 90 per cent of Withings users continue to regularly use their scales after one year and 50 per cent regularly continue using them after 10 years
Augmented Reality

Refining augmented reality

London boutique The Refinery has created an avatar-led digital fitness offering called ALFI, which utilises augmented reality (AR) to demonstrate movements. Zoe Bertali, one of the co-founders of the gym, tells us more
In conversation

Jessica Ennis-Hill: founder of Jennis

Jessica Ennis-Hill is on a mission to close the gender data gap in health research. Her app, Jennis CycleMapping, is designed to help women understand their cycles and how to train during each different phase. Steph Eaves speaks to Ennis-Hill to find out exactly how it works
Usability

How usable is your product?

Your fit tech product might be a game changer, solving problems or creating new possibilities for clients, but none of this will matter if it’s not easy and enjoyable to use. Industrial designer Nick Chubb explains why usability is key, and the factors to consider when designing your new product
Interview

Put on your red light

Red light therapy promises a variety of benefits, including better recovery, skin rejuvenation and increased energy, but is it all too good to be true? Fit Tech spoke to Bryan Gohl and James Strong of Red Light Rising, and Wes Pfiffner of Joovv to find out more
Interview

Kilian Saekel

By putting focus on tapping different lights and sounds while doing gruelling planks, you stop focusing on the pain
Origin Stories

Adrian Hon

Zombies, Run! is one of the most enduring fitness apps, with half a million users getting active while engaging in ‘missions’ against the zombie apocalypse. Its co-creator spoke to Steph Eaves about the power of story
App analysis

Digital community

Matt Stebbings of SLT Group talks about the creation of their Community Portal, a new platform that aims to help anyone to get active, whether that’s inside or outside of SLT’s facilities
Supplier showcase

Funxtion: A vital connection

NonStop Gym, Switzerland’s no frills gym chain, has appointed FunXtion to create its member training app
Research

Monitoring mental health

New technology uses advanced machine learning to monitor patients’ mental health between visits to their medical providers
Fit Tech People

Devi Mahadevia

Facebook director of sports and fitness partnerships
With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service
Fit Tech People

Andy Etches

Founder and sports director, Rezzil
Rezzil was able to have an injured player learning his new manager's philosophy, positioning and playing style – all from a seated position
Interview

Preston Lewis, Black Box VR

We’ve had to create training experiences that show users how to grab handles in the virtual world that are mapped to our real-world machine
More features