Over the past few years, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have grown in popularity. Today, there are many different ways to integrate IoT systems for various purposes, but some of them stand out significantly from others. This is why IoT in the fitness industry is such an exceptional case.
COVID-19 has shown us how valuable this technology is to gyms and wellness centers. Based on a Forbes article, the pandemic has helped shift customers' focus to digital workout solutions (fitness apps and others). For this reason, most fitness centers are already focusing their attention on IoT, VR/AR, and AI/ML and are demonstrating a growing interest in sports software development services.
It is also worth noting that the intelligent fitness market will reach nearly $30 billion by 2025.
This growth is driven by the strong demand for innovative training solutions. People want new tools to achieve their fitness goals. Technologies such as IoT, AR, and VR are driving the proliferation of smart health devices.
Internet of Things in fitness and modern sports apps
IoT-based technologies in the fitness industry could completely change the market and the way you exercise. So let's consider the most popular use cases of IoT in the fitness industry.
IoT technology is also having an impact on group fitness. For example, gyms are much more likely to use wireless sensors and battery-powered gateways so clients can see their actions, and instructors can help meet each participant's needs faster.
Training virtually with others
Today it is essential for clients to get more exciting workouts. And training virtually with other people is one of the brightest examples of IoT in the fitness world. For instance, people would like to exercise on a stationary bike in the virtual world to see their heart rate with other group members or run a virtual marathon.
Now, people want to share their training data with others. For this reason, many development companies offer applications that connect participants with friends and family and can link to their social media accounts.
Fitness studios such as OrangeTheory Fitness use wireless heart rate sensors to display and track each user's heart rate. Additionally, Spin uses Performance IQ Leaderboards to show heart rate or cadence to motivate members to work harder or catch up with their group.
IoT for sports animal competitions
Among other use cases of IoT in the fitness industry we should mention, the field of animal competitions. Today there are special wearable devices that can track vital parameters of animals during training sessions and competitions to let coaches better understand the state of animals, their readiness to compete, and possibilities to achieve higher results.
The essential features of the fitness app
Today's IoT devices are greatly helping us to make the sports industry more accessible and safer. This gives us the ability to monitor activity in real-time with connected devices that can save our lives in medical emergencies such as heart failure, diabetes, and more.
Also, IoT applications collect data on various health points, which can help you better understand how to improve your workouts, count calories correctly, and be healthy.
Let's take a closer look at some of the valuable features of apps powered by IoT in sports and fitness.
Individual diet plans
The fitness app is like a personal trainer. One of the most critical features is personalized diet plans.
It helps users create their personalized diet plan according to the needs of their bodies. It also makes it possible to select the required ingredients and recipes.
Also, in this way, it's possible to use special scales which can be connected to the application and track calories, the composition of the products, and many other essential points to help you meet the goals.
Training programs are the essential function of the app.
This makes it possible to track daily activity and also allows users to add physical exercises to perform outside the home. In this case, intelligent weights are a great choice! It has automated suggestions regarding the workout, and it can measure the sports routine and suggest some changes for you. Furthermore, using such an app will make your activity safer since it will jingle if you do not use the weights properly.
What's more, the mobile app tracks the number of calories consumed by users throughout the day and provides detailed information on the total calories burned.
This is another one of the required functions. In addition, users can check the total number of steps per day and the number of calories burned while walking, running, and cycling.
In most cases, wearable fitness trackers are worn like a wristband. You can connect it to your phone to see more health data. In addition, some fitness trackers can monitor heart rate and even sleep quality.
The IoT is helping to change the way coaches manage their clients. By combining advanced analytics with sensors and video, specialists can process massive amounts of data faster to produce the right metrics for human performance.
Wearable device integration
Wearable device integration allows participants to connect to different external devices. For example, customers can easily track their activities and exercise routines by clicking the app.
Also, special sensors can be built into a person's shoes to track speed and footwork during training correctly. Footwear pressure sensors show where a person can balance weight, and accelerometers can track maximum speed, stopping power, and endurance.
How do you build IoT fitness apps?
When it comes to building an IoT system in fitness, several steps can help you keep things simpler.
It is crucial to think through all payments and partnerships, as well as determine profit goals.
2) Determination of needs
It is essential to understand how needs can affect the technology stack.
3) Development team
Each specialist has their primary responsibilities, and you also need to set a budget for each part of the team.
4) The first stage
This step includes defining the scope of work, creating a project roadmap and budget, UX/UI design, and approval of a visual prototype for your product.
5) Technical documentation
This includes the technical specification of all your requirements, product use cases, and all other work requirements that developers need to get their work done.
In this case, each page and project interface is designed and structured by layout.
7) Fitness app development
In most cases, this will include at least three or more developers and an internal specialist who will create all the direct integrations.
8) Quality assurance
This step helps you resolve all product bugs and validate the user experience.
Don't forget that the market is large and the competition is overgrowing. Your application should give people something new, something they didn't expect to receive. Therefore, think carefully about the creative strategy and functions of your product. Strive to find a unique approach for everyone.
Fitness app by Cogniteq
Our team had a great opportunity to create such apps. And we are ready to share with you IoT in the fitness industry use cases from our practice.
We cooperated with a client, TeamZWATT (Denmark), a company that develops power metering equipment for cyclists. It works with leading bicycle brands and manufacturing companies that equip their bikes with power meter devices.
The client wanted to create high-quality software for collecting and interpreting sensor data.
Since the company already had an Android app, our task was to develop two new apps based on the existing one and improve the design.
Functions of TeamZWATT apps:
- Recognize the sensor;
- Connect it to a mobile phone via Bluetooth;
- Receive data from the strain gauge;
- Store data locally in a particular format;
- Synchronize data with the server.
The apps allow users to calibrate the sensor and check for bootloader and firmware updates. Depending on the app's version, it's also possible to register a user. The server side interprets the data and generates visuals and reports.
As a result, the company was able to launch new lines of products using its brand name. TeamZWATT reported a significant growth in strain gauge sales. More information about this app that demonstrates the use of IoT technologies in the fitness industry you can find here.
Another interesting project from our fitness IoT applications examples is StepUp Horse. But it is a rather unusual one. Our client designed wearable devices that should be placed around a racehorse's thorax and are intended for tracking important parameters such as breathing, heart rate, distance, and speed during training. And we’ve built an IoT app for horse monitoring.
The real-time tracking, as well as training history and data statistics, allow horse owners and trainers better detect how they should plan the training process for their animals to make sure that their horses are fully prepared for competitions.
Of course, this unique tracker is not a typical IoT fitness devices example but in general, this fact made it extremely interesting for us to work with it and to build a software solution for it.
A Healthy Future for IoT in the fitness business
The sporting future is promising, and it has even more potential with the Internet of Things. Modern fitness apps enable gyms to improve user experience in the wearable environment. IoT technology and software help us add value to the lives of gym customers. Thus, the sports industry must be well prepared to harness the full potential of IoT solutions.
Our company has deep experience in providing IoT development services, and we always strive to find the most profitable and valuable solutions for our clients. So whether you want to build your product for the gym or only have a concept, our team will be happy to help you turn your idea into reality. Feel free to contact us right now.
What are the most popular IoT fitness devices?
The industry is continuously growing and developing and, as a result, new devices are coming to the market. Today the most popular examples are smart bands, smartwatches, smart yoga mats, activity trackers, smart blood pressure, and heart rate monitoring devices.
How many IoT fitness devices are there today?
It is quite complicated to name the exact number, the number of fitness IoT applications as well as devices is continuously growing. According to some studies, in 2020 this figure reached almost 133 million in the EU only. And experts predict that it will increase up to 170 million in 2025.
What are the key benefits of using IoT in sports and fitness?
The most important motivators that should push companies to use IoT solutions in this industry is their desire to ensure absolutely innovative experiences for professional athletes and fitness lovers as well as to increase the efficiency of workouts and training sessions.