Apple's GymKit arrives in Hong Kong and Japan with Life Fitness integration

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited March 2018
Apple's slow GymKit rollout continued this month with new integrations in Hong Kong and Japan, where Apple Watch users can now share workout data with cardio equipment made by Life Fitness.




Announced last week, Pure Fitness of Hong Kong and Anytime Fitness in Japan installed Life Fitness machines compatible with the Apple Watch data sharing platform. The two clubs are the first in the region to feature GymKit support, according to Life Fitness.

"There are nearly 1 billion workouts per year on our cardio machines across the globe, and we know that exercisers want workouts that are personalized, motivating and with easy data tracking to drive better outcomes," said Jaime Irick, president of Life Fitness.

With GymKit, users can tap their Apple Watch on a compatible machine to enable a two-way sync of data that includes distance, speed, workout incline and an estimate of calories burned. Bluetooth and NFC communication technologies are used to share data between Apple's wearable and stationary equipment, the goal being a more accurate representation of tracked workouts.

For example, Apple Watch contains a barometric sensor to detect inclines and declines, stairs climbed and altitude, data that informs Apple's specialized workout algorithms. That information is lost when working out on equipment like treadmills and stair-steppers that merely simulate inclines and other conditions.

GymKit was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference last year and rolled out with watchOS 4.1 in October.

Fitness clubs in Australia were the first to gain access to GymKit equipment in November, while a UK rollout followed a month later. It was also in December that users in the U.S. gained access to the technology thanks to integration at Life Time Athletic in New York.

In addition to Life Fitness equipment, manufacturers Matrix, StairMaster, Schwinn and TechnoGym support GymKit in select machines. Earlier today, TechnoGym in an announcement said it has deployed more than 5,000 GymKit-compatible machines at hundreds of clubs around the world.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    This is the result of having additional Apple R&D department oversea which helps cater to the local demands and technical enhancments over their current digital lifestyle. Maybe implementing ApplePay over the Japanese vending machine is next?
    Rayz2016racerhomie3
  • Reply 2 of 7
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,433member
    The placement of the NFC reader seems less than ideal. How about across the top so you can place your arm stretched out with the palm up or down with ease so the NFC antennas can connect but in a place where you'd accidentally hit it, like if it's on the side bar.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    We were in the market for a treadmill at the end of 2017 and really wanted to have GymKit compatibility. At the time all I could find was the TechnoGym equipment and it isn’t really priced for the home market. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t looking for a Costco priced treadmill, but we also didn’t want to spend over $12,000 just to get GymKit.  We ended up with a Landice. 

    Now we want to add an exercise bike to our hike gym and again I’ll be looking for GymKit compatibility. Hopefully Life Fitness will be more reasonably priced (TechnoGym bikes were also in the same price range as its treadmills). 

    I get it that the current equipment is geared toward gyms, but it would be nice to have GymKit for the Home market as well. How hard/expensive can it be to add to lower speced models?
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 7
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,571member
    We were in the market for a treadmill at the end of 2017 and really wanted to have GymKit compatibility. At the time all I could find was the TechnoGym equipment and it isn’t really priced for the home market. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t looking for a Costco priced treadmill, but we also didn’t want to spend over $12,000 just to get GymKit.  We ended up with a Landice. 

    Now we want to add an exercise bike to our hike gym and again I’ll be looking for GymKit compatibility. Hopefully Life Fitness will be more reasonably priced (TechnoGym bikes were also in the same price range as its treadmills). 

    I get it that the current equipment is geared toward gyms, but it would be nice to have GymKit for the Home market as well. How hard/expensive can it be to add to lower speced models?
    At the moment the 'bigger' players will be pushing this into gyms as a new feature but I would expect this tech to filter down to more manufacturers and home models over time.  
  • Reply 5 of 7
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,264member
    I dunno if calling it “slow” is accurate. Commercial gym equipment isn’t replaced frequently, it’s going to take time before it cycles into gyms across the country/world. 

    As for consumer models, look how long it’s taken consumer autos to get CarPlay. Evidently this stuff is harder than we think or takes more time than we’d like. 
    mjtomlin
  • Reply 6 of 7
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,792member
    I dunno if calling it “slow” is accurate. Commercial gym equipment isn’t replaced frequently, it’s going to take time before it cycles into gyms across the country/world. 

    As for consumer models, look how long it’s taken consumer autos to get CarPlay. Evidently this stuff is harder than we think or takes more time than we’d like. 

    Yeah, we've seen this before with things like ApplePay and CarPlay. Apple cannot force OEMs and developers to hurry up and adopt their platforms. I'm fairly certain Apple does not want these things happen at the pace they do, but there's not much they can do other than pulling a Microsoft and start paying others to use their "wares". And even then going from offering a protocol to a product or service that adopts that protocol can take years. And much, much longer for it to become ubiquitous.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 7
    This is the result of having additional Apple R&D department oversea which helps cater to the local demands and technical enhancments over their current digital lifestyle. Maybe implementing ApplePay over the Japanese vending machine is next?
    Lots of Japanese vending machines already supports Apple Pay (Suica).
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