The wellness industry continues to grow in scale and scope, with more people hitting the gym to get in shape. To keep up with this growth, gyms and workout centers need to deliver high-tech, on-demand fitness AV experiences.
AV over IP is at the core of such development. From showcasing promotions on digital signage to delivering auditory workouts on personal devices, here’s how AV over IP is powering the future of digital-focused gyms.
Gyms of the Future
Digitization is driving the fitness industry across multiple fronts. Whether it’s wearables or treadmill TVs, there’s a greater demand for today’s fitness tools that work together to create a seamless experience. In fact, more gym equipment is becoming networked and interconnected, says Dr. Niels Nagel at the German Industrial Association for Fitness and Health.
“Digitization is taking place not just in the actual process of training, but also in the overall field of fitness. Gyms are digitizing training equipment, wellness systems, lockers and customer recognition systems.”
Digitization has given rise to a number of trends and strategies for engaging gym goers through technology. For example, gamification is a trend sweeping fitness centers across the nation.
“Allowing customers to engage via games and competitions will stop your clients from debating whether or not to get up in the morning and renew their gym membership and start getting them excited to beat the most recent high score,” writes Rebecca Dowden at Crown TV.
Gamifying workouts is limitless. Whether showcasing top performers or projecting a live weight lifting leaderboard, the idea is to engage and motivate guests. Gamification can be streamed via TV screens or personal devices, and AV over IP makes this process instantaneous.
Solving Common Fitness Center Problems
Fitness centers are filled with different forms of audiovisual technology, including music and news feeds. Although intended to improve focus and performance, such entertainment can lead to noisy gyms and distracting visuals, explains Chelsea Cafiero at Commercial Integrator.
To solve this problem, Listen Technologies created a personal wifi listening system that allows fitness venues to stream audio to personal smartphones. Rather than looking at a treadmill screen for the latest news or soap opera episode, gym goers can instead tune into any TV on their own personal device. The benefit of this system is that guests can stay tuned in from anywhere in the fitness center. This also eliminates the need to repair broken jacks and receivers.
Audio streaming can also help gyms stay updated with trends in audio training. Audio workouts have risen in popularity alongside podcasts, which are being consumed at an all-time high. With audio workouts, gym goers can attend the gym and tune into a routine without having to be in a class with others.
“Audio workouts provide instruction without the distraction of visual cues, making it easier to focus on your own proper form,” says fitness expert Laura Williams.
This provides a personalized workout experience, which many of today’s gym customers look for. Specifically, fitness centers are creating experiences where customers can access gym amenities and group classes, albeit in a more personal way, adds Pete McCall, a certified strength and conditioning specialist who hosts the podcast “All About Fitness.”
“The gyms will brand the workouts differently, catering more to a custom user experience like you’d get from a boutique studio,” he explains.
The sound quality in group fitness classes is also being improved with new technology. When redesigning an AV system, it’s essential to incorporate sound design that meets the needs of both instructors and students. This starts with a microphone system, explains the team at Crossover, an audiovisual design and installation company.
“A reliable wireless microphone system is at the heart of any studio’s AV design,” they say.
Wireless receivers should be positioned in the instructor’s line of sight to prevent drop-outs and noise distortion. Moreover, using the proper monitors and wireless frequencies helps prevent interference.
Video Solutions for Marketing and Entertainment
In the past, health clubs were limited to broadcasting local news and daytime TV. Today, the demand for personalized content is pushing the limits of fitness entertainment. For example, ClubCom is a digital fitness network designed specifically for gyms and health clubs.
This network enables gyms and fitness centers to broadcast high-definition audio and video entertainment, as well as gym promotions and local advertisements. This network allows different content to be broadcast across all screens throughout a gym.
At Island Gym and Fitness in New Jersey, for example, ClubCom is used to stream music videos tailored by the center’s staff. The videos were specifically selected to help motivate and inspire guests. In addition to changing music genres hourly and including an array of genres, Island Gym and Fitness allows guests to vote on which videos they’d like to see. This takes into account the personalization features that many gyms traditionally don’t include.
One network that helps support such goals is Upshow, which is focused less on entertainment and more on helping gyms drive leads. Sales are driven through social TV capabilities, which allows users to appear on the screens by using certain hashtags. Gyms can also display schedules and upcoming events to maximize awareness among customers.
Upshow provides gyms with visibility into social media influencers, too. This helps them identify and connect with potential influencers who may want to promote the brand. The biggest benefit of using such a network is that gyms can create more personalized experiences for members.
Digital Signage for Gyms
Digital signage also allows gyms to communicate information directly to their guests. Facility information, menu details and motivational content can be displayed, explains sound provider Audio Acoustics. In addition to relevant promotional content, digital signs can display short-form television programming and music entertainment.
It can also be used to emphasize the value of a membership, explains digital signage software company NoviSign. Member success stories are a great way to demonstrate what a gym membership can offer, and specials and discounts can further interest in a membership. Digital signage content powered by AV over IP can be changed hourly, weekly and monthly. This ensures that there’s always new and updated information for visitors.
AV over IP also allows digital signage content to be displayed much more quickly and efficiently than traditional hard-wired video, and all from a single location, explains the team at Cabling Installation and Maintenance.
“IP-based digital signage and video walls work by connecting a receiver to each display, which attaches an IP address to the screen and connects it to the network. Once the display is connected, content can be delivered quickly and easily from anywhere on the network. Scalability is also easy and cost-effective.”
Another benefit of IP-based fitness center displays is that they can easily be scaled. Adding more displays is as simple as adding more receivers. With thousands of endpoints, gyms can grow their digital communication networks much faster and more efficiently than with traditional systems.
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