GET FIT TECH
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and also get the Fit Tech ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Get Fit Tech
digital magazine
features

Fit Tech profile: Digital ecosystem

In these strange times, we have a chance to engage more people in fitness and wellbeing, but it will require great flexibility and creativity. Francesco Arlotti, Technogym’s global head of sales for digital solutions, talks to Kate Cracknell

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 2

How do you feel the pandemic has impacted our sector?
The first thing to say is this: What’s happened over recent months, in terms of the digitisation of the fitness sector, hasn’t only happened because of COVID-19. It was going to happen anyway. The crisis has simply accelerated the sector’s digital transformation.

I sometimes make myself unpopular saying this – it’s hard when a lot of operators are still struggling – but I, therefore, see this crisis as an opportunity. It has thrown a spotlight on why our penetration rates were stagnating. It has forced us to think out of the box and be more creative in meeting customers’ needs.

It has confirmed what was already true: that an exclusively offline model is not a good option. Neither is exclusively online: people want community and other people. But there does need to be a blend, because consumers are already digitally addicted. They’re already there, waiting for us to catch up, and we needed to respond or risk them seeking out a pure consumer solution.

That’s why I see COVID-19 as an opportunity. It has accelerated us towards a destination we needed to reach anyway. It has given us a boost and a chance to reinvent this fantastic industry. And as a huge added bonus, it has given consumers a far greater appreciation of good physical and mental health – and with it, handed us a far more receptive audience.

However, it will only be an opportunity if we understand what consumers want – if we focus on their needs rather than ours – and if we steer away from commoditising our product.

How have you been supporting customers through the COVID crisis?
We’ve adopted a phased approach.
Phase one was about helping our clients support their customers in training at home, with online solutions people could use during lockdown.

Phase two has been focusing on building confidence among members, by allowing them to book absolutely everything online – not just classes but everything in the club – based on strict capacity limits. We’ve been working hard on this recently, helping operators map out all their spaces, so members feel safe.

Phase three is business model evolution, helping operators build on what they’ve done during lockdown to develop a seamless online/offline offering.

We’ve also launched new upgrades for Mywellness, designed to help operators move into phase three. Firstly, we’ve introduced a library of virtual on-demand classes created by Technogym; if operators also want to upload their own signature classes for their members, they can do that too. Also launching is Coach Live video chat: live streaming of classes where instructors can also see the people training at home, allowing them to feed back on technique and so on.

All of this is alongside the existing functionality on Mywellness, from exercise prescription and body assessment to challenges, communication and class booking and rating. The new modules are there to complement all of this and ensure operators have the right software platform to thrive in the new normal.

What is your advice for operators as we begin to emerge from lockdown?
Firstly, fitness clubs and home fitness are not competitors. People are getting accustomed to training both at home and in clubs.

Recent UK research found that 12 per cent of respondents plan to work out from home after lockdown, while 50 per cent said they would work out both from home and in their club or fitness centre.

Home is a safe space for people: those with safety concerns around COVID-19, as well as those who haven’t used a gym before. Don’t fight the safe space, rather, be in alliance with it. The new model is a blend of offline (clubs) and online (digital) – a model we call ‘phygital’.

Second, help rebuild people’s confidence. Make your members feel secure and ready to come back to your facilities.

Third, don’t go back to your old ways. Don’t see what you’ve done during lockdown as a temporary solution. Build on it. Evolve it. I like to give the example of my favourite fish restaurant. During lockdown, it started to do home deliveries – a wonderful alternative to the usual junk food options. It has now re-opened, but it continues to offer home deliveries as an additional revenue stream.

Four, remember that a digital proposition can only be effectively monetised if it’s seamless.

What do you mean by seamless?
Let me take a step back and explain that, at Technogym, we aim to provide solutions that on the one hand help operators overcome the challenges of adopting digital, and on the other allow them to provide members with personalised solutions.

There are two common scenarios we help operators avoid: trying to create a proprietary system, generally witnessed among the bigger club groups, which involves huge investment and lower ROI than they tend to expect; and cherry-picking a number of different platforms based on particular features you want, which results in a digital proposition that’s full of friction-points and hard for staff and members to handle.

We don’t sell features. Features in themselves don’t guarantee a seamless experience; we believe they’re consistently over-rated. Meanwhile, the journey tends to be under-rated when in fact this is what matters.

Let’s take the example of an iPhone compared to another cheaper phone that, in a feature-by-feature comparison, seems very similar. Why are people still willing to spend four times more to have an iPhone? It’s because of the experience once the phone is in people’s hands: the design, the fluency of the user experience, the seamlessness.

It’s why we sell a full proposition as a service: product, content, consultancy and activation support to ensure everyone – from the operator to every member of staff – understands the full journey, their role within it, and how to communicate it to members. Without this, operators will not achieve the successes they should from their digital investment.

How do you see membership structures working in this new world?
We need to move our members away from free fitness content on Facebook and Instagram. Sharing for free on these platforms commoditises the service being offered by clubs – something from which it’s hard to come back. Operators need to work now on re-establishing a more regular relationship with members.

I believe if we put consumers at the centre and allow our creativity to spark, we will come up with brand new propositions.

We’ve already had customers, like Virgin Active, who’ve successfully used Mywellness to offer programmes and ‘Workouts of the Day’ during lockdown; there’s no reason why these operators might not now start to charge for content, as everything is already being delivered on their own platform.

We just need to be more flexible in the way we think about things. If we see the home as a class studio or workout space that just happens to be in a different location – a space into which clubs can extend their expertise via digital channels – then we can reach out to far more people, offering at-home and blended memberships, alongside more traditional packages.

What are Technogym’s digital plans and ambitions?
Everything digital is accelerating so fast. As I said before, what’s happening isn’t because of COVID-19, but the virus has certainly accelerated things. What might otherwise have taken three to five years has happened in the space of a few months.

Our digital teams worked round the clock to create new solutions that work immediately. Tomorrow. Today even! And we’re still moving at this rapid pace to keep supporting operators through these difficult times. That’s the short-term view.

Looking at the mid- to long-term, our goal is to leverage the huge ecosystem we’ve created over the years across equipment, technology and activation in order to offer people relevant training experiences in line with their goals, personality and passions.

Today, 15 million people across 15,000 clubs globally are registered on Mywellness. It’s about helping operators stay connected to members, not only for the couple of hours a week they spend at the club but through an enduring relationship, 24/7.

Clubs have the real possibility to become wellness hubs – not only to incrementally improve their day-to-day business, but also to innovate their business model – for example, by interacting with insurance companies, medical organisations and the corporate world.

Technogym is continuing to invest in digital innovation – including digital training content, artificial intelligence functionality and mobile applications – with the goal of being a strategic partner creating real value for fitness operators in the long-term.

Innovation with a vision

Arlotti explains: “Technogym has a software development team of around 50 people, and about the same number again who are focused purely on equipment connectivity: with external membership software systems, with bioimpedance analysis platforms, with the most popular consumer fitness apps and devices to ensure we’re embracing overall wellbeing.

“It’s a complex process that takes in data from a wide range of sources. For the new mywellness platform release in April this year, for example, we analysed billions of anonymous clicks and data to gain insights into member behaviour. We assessed trends and market research, conducted by ourselves and by others, to understand how those behaviours might change. We listened to feedback; we’re in the privileged position of working with over 80,000 wellness centres across 100+ countries, so we can secure a lot of valuable input.

15 million people across 15,000 clubs globally are registered on Technogym’s Mywellness system. It’s about helping operators stay connected to their members 24/7

“But layered on top of all this, you still need a vision to which your R&D is linked; responding solely to requests could lead you to develop a product that’s obsolete even by the time it’s launched.

“At Technogym, our overarching vision is this: We want to take wellness to the highest possible number of people, creating a healthier world by supporting those who live in it to become healthier themselves.

“In digital terms, that translates into technology that takes wellness beyond the gym. It’s about supporting industry evolution so it isn’t just about gym membership any more, but also about taking the programmes, services and expertise of gyms out to people wherever they are.”

Mywellness connects workouts and analytics across multiple platforms
Blazing a digital trail

“After roles at Accenture and P&G, I joined Technogym in July 2006 as international trade marketing manager,” Arlotti explains. “I later became solutions manager for the health club sector, and it was in this role that digital emerged as a passion, ultimately leading to my appointment as head of digital solutions in 2012.

“It’s important to recognise Technogym’s history in this field: it was 1996 when the company founded a team in Seattle and launched Wellness System. Trainers could design and upload personalised programmes onto Wellness Keys; the equipment would automatically set the appropriate speed, load and/or reps when a key was inserted; and results could be downloaded at the end of the workout.

This doesn’t sound ground-breaking now, but back in 1996 nobody had yet asked for this. It was a true innovation.

“The market has changed since then, with digital becoming more important. But just because you’re market leader for phase one, doesn’t mean you’ll still be market leader through the second, third and subsequent phases.

Nokia is an example. It was market leader, but as the market moved on, it failed to understand the point was having your apps with you all the time.

“Technogym didn’t fall into this trap. We realised the world was changing and needed a new digital proposition that followed people wherever they were, embracing movement in the gym, at home, at work and on the way to work. In 2012, we therefore launched our ‘Wellness on the Go’ mywellness cloud solution.

“But with digital, nothing stands still. We continually evolve and develop mywellness cloud. In April 2020, for example, we introduced real-time analytics, so you can see what your members – and even sub-sets of your members – are doing, when, what equipment they’re using, even what they like.”

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features

Staying sticky

Bob Lawson explains how digital fitness platforms and apps can maximise retention and prevent churn
interview

Blurring the lines

Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help gyms future-proof by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live offerings. Steph Eaves talks to Les Mills International’s CMO Anna Henwood to find out more

Fit Tech Leadership Report

Fit tech is a growing, competitive sector. Executive search firm, Stronger Talent, recently analysed the backgrounds of more than 300 fit tech executives to provide insights into recruiting strategies, as Pete Leibman explains
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
interview

Rodrigo Jesus, Salus Optima

Everything we do is evidence based and scientifically proven. Our technology is grounded in science and we have dozens of scientists and experts who collaborate with us in human performance
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

Collect wind power as you move

Researchers in China have designed a tiny device that can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk or run

Sky x Fiit

Fiit has secured a deal with TV giant Sky, to make its virtual workout platform available through the subscription-based Sky Q service. With 20 per cent of Fiit users now accessing the app through Sky, Fit Tech speaks to Fraser Stirling and Daniel Shellard to find out more

Funxtion: A brand new app

FunXtion and GoodLife Fitness are collaborating to help Canadians stay fit in the gym and at home

Clubs without walls

Venueserve Fitness is working with the Health Club Collection to drive its digital customer engagement
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
interview

Robotic muscles

We identified the need to step beyond the current approaches to muscle weakness, and move instead to placing robotic muscles exactly where they’re needed – inside the body

Digital retention top performers

Three digital fitness platforms tell Fit Tech how they work to achieve higher levels of customer retention
people

Kevin Dawidowicz

President, CoachMePlus
Fitness apps are designed to train clients, without a trainer on the other side. We give coaches a tool for connection
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

Virtual wellbeing check

Feelings of pressure, isolation and performance anxiety are commonly experienced by athletes, however it isn’t always easy for clubs to identify those who are struggling. Richard Lucas, founder of GoVox, explains how technology can help
people

Richard Hanbury

Founder and CEO, Sana
I was in Yemen, close to the capital, Sana’a, when I had the accident that put me in a wheelchair and gave me a chronic nerve damage pain problem. This led me to develop the underlying technology of Sana

Fighting COVID-19

In the aftermath of the pandemic, people will be more aware of the importance of their health and the strength of their immune system. Can fit tech alert users to potential immunodeficiencies or symptoms? And might these products assist governments? We asked industry leaders for their predictions
interview

Will Ahmed, Whoop

Whoop is taking wearable technology to the next level, providing deeper insights into individuals’ physiology and enabling optimised training. Founder and CEO Will Ahmed talks to Steph Eaves about the importance of personalised feedback
people

Patrick Lucey

VP of AI, Stats Perform
We can capture tracking data from historical videos, enabling us to do large scale comparisons of players, such as Michael Jordan, across eras
people

Ian Mullane

Founder, Keepme
Using predictive and machine learning models, operators can hyper-personalise engagement
interview

Digital ecosystem

The digitisation of the sector was going to happen anyway. COVID-19 has simply accelerated the digital transformation

Functional wearables

A new ultra-thin, stretchable electronic material could be a game changer for wearable tech
interview

Forme Life: Trent Ward & Yves Béhar

We have such a timeless design that this product will fit into the home for a long time
Featured supplier: AskNicely helps empower businesses to improve customer experience and boost NPS
Maintaining a consistent member experience across a growing health and fitness brand can prove challenging.
Featured supplier: Strengthening your mind...one work out at a time
There’s nothing quite like discovering a product that creates a huge impact in our life. After all, isn’t that what we’re all searching for?
Freemotion FUSION Team Training
FreeMotion Fitness
The High-Intensity Cardio-Strength Training. Read more
Company profile: Wexer
Our mission at Wexer is to make world-class exercise accessible to everyone by harnessing the ...
Company profile: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Fitness equipment
Technogym: Fitness equipment
Featured supplier: AskNicely helps empower businesses to improve customer experience and boost NPS
Maintaining a consistent member experience across a growing health and fitness brand can prove challenging.
Featured supplier: Strengthening your mind...one work out at a time
There’s nothing quite like discovering a product that creates a huge impact in our life. After all, isn’t that what we’re all searching for?
Company profile: Wexer
Our mission at Wexer is to make world-class exercise accessible to everyone by harnessing the ...
Company profile: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Freemotion FUSION Team Training
FreeMotion Fitness
The High-Intensity Cardio-Strength Training. 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
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Fitness equipment
Technogym: Fitness equipment

latest news

A new at-home fitness app will enable friends, communities, and coaches to remotely work out together using live video links. ...
Fitness tech firm Therabody has expanded into a new area of wellness with the launch of a new compression recovery ...
Les Mills has come up with an ingenious solution to get around the pandemic travel bans, which threatened a long ...
At-home fitness giant Peloton has officially completed the acquisition of equipment provider Precor, in a deal worth US$420m. Precor will ...
A new digital fitness platform has combined a digital exercise offering with online dating features which allow users to meet ...
Sport:80, a developer of cloud-based sport management software, has launched a club management system to help governing bodies and grassroots ...
Fitness tech startup Motosumo has secured a Series A funding round, which it will use to expand and develop its ...
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex has become the first chief impact officer of US-based coaching and mental health firm ...
Myzone CEO, Dave Wright, has announced the launch of MZ-Switch, a mobile heart rate monitor which can now sit on ...
A three-year-old-boy has died of the injuries he sustained in an accident involving a Peloton Tread+ running machine. No details ...
Fitness tech and software firm Exerp has secured a strategic partnership agreement with budget gym chain PureGym. The deal will ...
A new report shows how the pandemic is shifting consumer behaviours in fitness, sport and physical activity – and how ...
More news
features

Fit Tech profile: Digital ecosystem

In these strange times, we have a chance to engage more people in fitness and wellbeing, but it will require great flexibility and creativity. Francesco Arlotti, Technogym’s global head of sales for digital solutions, talks to Kate Cracknell

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 2

How do you feel the pandemic has impacted our sector?
The first thing to say is this: What’s happened over recent months, in terms of the digitisation of the fitness sector, hasn’t only happened because of COVID-19. It was going to happen anyway. The crisis has simply accelerated the sector’s digital transformation.

I sometimes make myself unpopular saying this – it’s hard when a lot of operators are still struggling – but I, therefore, see this crisis as an opportunity. It has thrown a spotlight on why our penetration rates were stagnating. It has forced us to think out of the box and be more creative in meeting customers’ needs.

It has confirmed what was already true: that an exclusively offline model is not a good option. Neither is exclusively online: people want community and other people. But there does need to be a blend, because consumers are already digitally addicted. They’re already there, waiting for us to catch up, and we needed to respond or risk them seeking out a pure consumer solution.

That’s why I see COVID-19 as an opportunity. It has accelerated us towards a destination we needed to reach anyway. It has given us a boost and a chance to reinvent this fantastic industry. And as a huge added bonus, it has given consumers a far greater appreciation of good physical and mental health – and with it, handed us a far more receptive audience.

However, it will only be an opportunity if we understand what consumers want – if we focus on their needs rather than ours – and if we steer away from commoditising our product.

How have you been supporting customers through the COVID crisis?
We’ve adopted a phased approach.
Phase one was about helping our clients support their customers in training at home, with online solutions people could use during lockdown.

Phase two has been focusing on building confidence among members, by allowing them to book absolutely everything online – not just classes but everything in the club – based on strict capacity limits. We’ve been working hard on this recently, helping operators map out all their spaces, so members feel safe.

Phase three is business model evolution, helping operators build on what they’ve done during lockdown to develop a seamless online/offline offering.

We’ve also launched new upgrades for Mywellness, designed to help operators move into phase three. Firstly, we’ve introduced a library of virtual on-demand classes created by Technogym; if operators also want to upload their own signature classes for their members, they can do that too. Also launching is Coach Live video chat: live streaming of classes where instructors can also see the people training at home, allowing them to feed back on technique and so on.

All of this is alongside the existing functionality on Mywellness, from exercise prescription and body assessment to challenges, communication and class booking and rating. The new modules are there to complement all of this and ensure operators have the right software platform to thrive in the new normal.

What is your advice for operators as we begin to emerge from lockdown?
Firstly, fitness clubs and home fitness are not competitors. People are getting accustomed to training both at home and in clubs.

Recent UK research found that 12 per cent of respondents plan to work out from home after lockdown, while 50 per cent said they would work out both from home and in their club or fitness centre.

Home is a safe space for people: those with safety concerns around COVID-19, as well as those who haven’t used a gym before. Don’t fight the safe space, rather, be in alliance with it. The new model is a blend of offline (clubs) and online (digital) – a model we call ‘phygital’.

Second, help rebuild people’s confidence. Make your members feel secure and ready to come back to your facilities.

Third, don’t go back to your old ways. Don’t see what you’ve done during lockdown as a temporary solution. Build on it. Evolve it. I like to give the example of my favourite fish restaurant. During lockdown, it started to do home deliveries – a wonderful alternative to the usual junk food options. It has now re-opened, but it continues to offer home deliveries as an additional revenue stream.

Four, remember that a digital proposition can only be effectively monetised if it’s seamless.

What do you mean by seamless?
Let me take a step back and explain that, at Technogym, we aim to provide solutions that on the one hand help operators overcome the challenges of adopting digital, and on the other allow them to provide members with personalised solutions.

There are two common scenarios we help operators avoid: trying to create a proprietary system, generally witnessed among the bigger club groups, which involves huge investment and lower ROI than they tend to expect; and cherry-picking a number of different platforms based on particular features you want, which results in a digital proposition that’s full of friction-points and hard for staff and members to handle.

We don’t sell features. Features in themselves don’t guarantee a seamless experience; we believe they’re consistently over-rated. Meanwhile, the journey tends to be under-rated when in fact this is what matters.

Let’s take the example of an iPhone compared to another cheaper phone that, in a feature-by-feature comparison, seems very similar. Why are people still willing to spend four times more to have an iPhone? It’s because of the experience once the phone is in people’s hands: the design, the fluency of the user experience, the seamlessness.

It’s why we sell a full proposition as a service: product, content, consultancy and activation support to ensure everyone – from the operator to every member of staff – understands the full journey, their role within it, and how to communicate it to members. Without this, operators will not achieve the successes they should from their digital investment.

How do you see membership structures working in this new world?
We need to move our members away from free fitness content on Facebook and Instagram. Sharing for free on these platforms commoditises the service being offered by clubs – something from which it’s hard to come back. Operators need to work now on re-establishing a more regular relationship with members.

I believe if we put consumers at the centre and allow our creativity to spark, we will come up with brand new propositions.

We’ve already had customers, like Virgin Active, who’ve successfully used Mywellness to offer programmes and ‘Workouts of the Day’ during lockdown; there’s no reason why these operators might not now start to charge for content, as everything is already being delivered on their own platform.

We just need to be more flexible in the way we think about things. If we see the home as a class studio or workout space that just happens to be in a different location – a space into which clubs can extend their expertise via digital channels – then we can reach out to far more people, offering at-home and blended memberships, alongside more traditional packages.

What are Technogym’s digital plans and ambitions?
Everything digital is accelerating so fast. As I said before, what’s happening isn’t because of COVID-19, but the virus has certainly accelerated things. What might otherwise have taken three to five years has happened in the space of a few months.

Our digital teams worked round the clock to create new solutions that work immediately. Tomorrow. Today even! And we’re still moving at this rapid pace to keep supporting operators through these difficult times. That’s the short-term view.

Looking at the mid- to long-term, our goal is to leverage the huge ecosystem we’ve created over the years across equipment, technology and activation in order to offer people relevant training experiences in line with their goals, personality and passions.

Today, 15 million people across 15,000 clubs globally are registered on Mywellness. It’s about helping operators stay connected to members, not only for the couple of hours a week they spend at the club but through an enduring relationship, 24/7.

Clubs have the real possibility to become wellness hubs – not only to incrementally improve their day-to-day business, but also to innovate their business model – for example, by interacting with insurance companies, medical organisations and the corporate world.

Technogym is continuing to invest in digital innovation – including digital training content, artificial intelligence functionality and mobile applications – with the goal of being a strategic partner creating real value for fitness operators in the long-term.

Innovation with a vision

Arlotti explains: “Technogym has a software development team of around 50 people, and about the same number again who are focused purely on equipment connectivity: with external membership software systems, with bioimpedance analysis platforms, with the most popular consumer fitness apps and devices to ensure we’re embracing overall wellbeing.

“It’s a complex process that takes in data from a wide range of sources. For the new mywellness platform release in April this year, for example, we analysed billions of anonymous clicks and data to gain insights into member behaviour. We assessed trends and market research, conducted by ourselves and by others, to understand how those behaviours might change. We listened to feedback; we’re in the privileged position of working with over 80,000 wellness centres across 100+ countries, so we can secure a lot of valuable input.

15 million people across 15,000 clubs globally are registered on Technogym’s Mywellness system. It’s about helping operators stay connected to their members 24/7

“But layered on top of all this, you still need a vision to which your R&D is linked; responding solely to requests could lead you to develop a product that’s obsolete even by the time it’s launched.

“At Technogym, our overarching vision is this: We want to take wellness to the highest possible number of people, creating a healthier world by supporting those who live in it to become healthier themselves.

“In digital terms, that translates into technology that takes wellness beyond the gym. It’s about supporting industry evolution so it isn’t just about gym membership any more, but also about taking the programmes, services and expertise of gyms out to people wherever they are.”

Mywellness connects workouts and analytics across multiple platforms
Blazing a digital trail

“After roles at Accenture and P&G, I joined Technogym in July 2006 as international trade marketing manager,” Arlotti explains. “I later became solutions manager for the health club sector, and it was in this role that digital emerged as a passion, ultimately leading to my appointment as head of digital solutions in 2012.

“It’s important to recognise Technogym’s history in this field: it was 1996 when the company founded a team in Seattle and launched Wellness System. Trainers could design and upload personalised programmes onto Wellness Keys; the equipment would automatically set the appropriate speed, load and/or reps when a key was inserted; and results could be downloaded at the end of the workout.

This doesn’t sound ground-breaking now, but back in 1996 nobody had yet asked for this. It was a true innovation.

“The market has changed since then, with digital becoming more important. But just because you’re market leader for phase one, doesn’t mean you’ll still be market leader through the second, third and subsequent phases.

Nokia is an example. It was market leader, but as the market moved on, it failed to understand the point was having your apps with you all the time.

“Technogym didn’t fall into this trap. We realised the world was changing and needed a new digital proposition that followed people wherever they were, embracing movement in the gym, at home, at work and on the way to work. In 2012, we therefore launched our ‘Wellness on the Go’ mywellness cloud solution.

“But with digital, nothing stands still. We continually evolve and develop mywellness cloud. In April 2020, for example, we introduced real-time analytics, so you can see what your members – and even sub-sets of your members – are doing, when, what equipment they’re using, even what they like.”

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features

Staying sticky

Bob Lawson explains how digital fitness platforms and apps can maximise retention and prevent churn
interview

Blurring the lines

Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help gyms future-proof by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live offerings. Steph Eaves talks to Les Mills International’s CMO Anna Henwood to find out more

Fit Tech Leadership Report

Fit tech is a growing, competitive sector. Executive search firm, Stronger Talent, recently analysed the backgrounds of more than 300 fit tech executives to provide insights into recruiting strategies, as Pete Leibman explains
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
interview

Rodrigo Jesus, Salus Optima

The result is a powerful, holistic data-driven, outcome-focused, highly personalised application that helps people to achieve their goals and deal with the natural day-to-day problems
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

Collect wind power as you move

Researchers in China have designed a tiny device that can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk or run

Sky x Fiit

Fiit has secured a deal with TV giant Sky, to make its virtual workout platform available through the subscription-based Sky Q service. With 20 per cent of Fiit users now accessing the app through Sky, Fit Tech speaks to Fraser Stirling and Daniel Shellard to find out more

Funxtion: A brand new app

FunXtion and GoodLife Fitness are collaborating to help Canadians stay fit in the gym and at home

Clubs without walls

Venueserve Fitness is working with the Health Club Collection to drive its digital customer engagement
interview

Preston Lewis, Black Box VR

Game designers have figured out how to keep people unhealthily addicted to games. If only you could be the hero in a game that levelled up your life
interview

Robotic muscles

We identified the need to step beyond the current approaches to muscle weakness, and move instead to placing robotic muscles exactly where they’re needed – inside the body
Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces