Thursday, October 23, 2014

Participatory Sports/Fitness Gamification

In 2006 Nintendo Wii introduced a game controller that let the player be more active with motion control, this advancement in gaming set the stage for people to participate in the action of the sport and not just be confined to the action of a hand held control. The Nintendo Wii Fit platform was the first best extension of the exergaming platforms developed in the 1980's.

Then, in 2010 other console manufactures got on board with motion sensing capabilities like the Microsoft Kinect and the Playstation Move making the handheld remote control unnecessary and allowing players to simulate real action.

In the endurance/participatory sports market, CompuTrainer was the pioneer of virtual reality participation with a training aid and motivational tool that allowed users to ride through a virtual course hosted on a Nintendo NES, while monitoring data such as power and cadence.

The fitness club chain Equinox has been the most recent brand to throw their hat in the ring to capitalize on the trend of taking competition from the fields and streets to inside their clubs.

Digital Trends

The Pursuit gamifies exercise by pitting you against your spin-class peers

Earlier this year saw the launch of Zwift - "engaging indoor cycling experience that motivates and entertains."

Zwift looks and sounds interesting, they have open usage to a limited number of beta riders and there has been little feedback on the platform at this time.

Zwift is does not sound or look new or revolutionary as it looks and sounds like a modification on what CompuTrainer, 

BKool Sports


and others have in the market (and their website looks and feels very similar to the the BKool site).

I have tried a number of methods to stay motivated and entertain while riding inside. I've tried everything from a "dumb" trainer to CompuTrainer to riding on InsideRide E-Motion Rollers 

and staring at my bike computer, to listening to music, to watching movies and/or the Sufferfest videos, to... I've tried it all...

Not to be left out, the running market has a solution through
Outside Interactive where you can run on a treadmill and experience and virtual race course on you iPad.

I'm excited for new players in the industry to stretch the capabilities and offer more distractions for those zero distance rides and runs inside. 

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