New user habits are spawning, presentable design is becoming more important, playful interactivity is crucial, the fight is increasingly raging in quasi-home places – and surprising players are entering the market. Interested in this topic? Join FitTech Summit V: Tech or Die! (8,9 Nov). Get your free ticket now!
Is it ready? "Oh, the market is ready and it's developing magnificently," says Melanie Lauer, CEO of Kettler, to our FitTech Insider. In 2021 three times as many Americans as the previous year saw home fitness equipment as the best way to achieve fitness goals. Analysts forecast the smart mirror market to be worth more than seven billion euros by 2028, with annual growth of around 10%. And Kettler itself? "We are now more than one and a half years ahead of our business plan." So, the battle lines are drawn. Which trends will determine this war for the living room?
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1. Fitness mirror beats smart TVFitness mirror manufacturers are finding that their products are more than sports equipment. Valerie Bures-Bönström, CEO of VAHA, explains, "In terms of consumer products, the VAHA is now the evolution of the iPad. Many watch movies with it, listen to music with it, and exercise with it ... a friend uses it as a jukebox for his kids." Others have a digital fireplace crackling on there. Fitness is only one part of what smart mirrors have to offer: They change entire living room (and media) habits. Smart mirrors are smarter than a smart TV – they offer interaction with the camera, microphone, and speaker, while a smart TV's usability is limited to using apps.
2. Design is more chic and sustainable
Home fitness equipment is usually located in living rooms, which are becoming smaller and smaller. Therefore, the requirements for the new home fitness equipment are: users like to show it to guests (chic design!), it communicates their own lifestyle (sustainable design!). As a result, manufacturers are cooperating with well-known designers and increasingly using wood as a material. Plus, they nestle into the room layout (space-saving design!): "Our products are designed to sit in a box," says Jon Gregory, CEO of Vitruvian.
3. Playful interactivity as a weaponIn addition to the design, the aspirations of many home sports fans are also changing: They want to be motivated – and they want to do so via playful elements. Plus, the number of this target group is growing daily. After all, the main medium of the next generation is the video game: They are more interested in the League of Legends final than Christiano Ronaldo's move to Manchester United. One who has a solution for this is Markos Kern. His company, Lymb.io, offers a physical gaming console for the living room that combines motion with gaming. Will his product win?
4. Home fitness trend is going (third) places
Sport in private spaces. This logic also applies to quasi-home places, coined as "third places" by sociologists. Manufacturers like Kettler, for example, are launching cooperative ventures with hotel chains like the Rocco Forte Group. In this way, business travelers will bring the gym into their own hotel room via rented bikes, rowing machines, and treadmills – regardless of the course of the pandemic. Advantages: Sport in your underpants and no coughing next door.