From smart pillows to fascia rollers with AI coaches, how is the technologization of home fitness and health devices evolving, Marius Keckeisen (President Blackroll)? And what does technoligization mean anyway?
Prelude: The status quo for home fitness accessories
14 million German households ...
purchased a fitness accessory in 2021. According to a study by the German Industry Association for Fitness and Health (DIFG), the market for home fitness will continue to grow in 2022. Three out of four households (around 28.3 million) reported having at least one piece of fitness equipment or fitness accessory, such as a fascia roller. Half of them (around 14.3 million households) had purchased such items last year. (Source: Sazsport)
Question 1: How do you transform low-tech into high-tech?
Marius: Our products seem to be dumb. But ...
First, our tech reference takes place beforehand - via research. Like the study on whether our infrared blankets with the Celliant fiber really help people sleep better? Yes!
Second: For us, it is irrelevant whether a product has a battery or a Bluetooth connection. For us, technologization means suggesting the right exercise to the customer at the right time. In the future, for example, knowing with the help of data and AI what kind of problem the customer has at what moment. Anyone who comes to us with pain can buy a pain package, especially for the knee, for example. There, in addition to rollers or bands, he gets a digital course in which we get to know him. The goal is to lead him into the cycle of prevention. In the future, we know what sports he engages in, what regeneration he needs and when he has time to work out.
Marius Keckeisen: The fascia rock'n'roller
Marius studied Management and Marketing in Konstanz and Stellenbosch in South Africa, where he was able to cultivate his hobby of windsurfing alongside his studies. In 2013, he joined Blackroll AG as a co-founder. He helped transform the start-up for fascia rollers into one of the largest developers for regeneration tools.
(🤝 Meet Marius at Linkedin)
Blackroll: The Healthstyle Company
The company has over 2,500 products and about 50 product types in its range. The famous fascia roller is no longer the star among them. "With our Recovery Pillow, we have managed to replace it," Marius told Online Marketing Rockstars.
(👁️ Check out Blackroll)
Question 2: What trends are influencing the market?Marius: I see three trends.
- Knowledge Seeking Society: People are looking to have deeper personal knowledge about their health. Those who go to the doctor prefer to get a third and fourth opinion.
- Conservative medicine is booming: physiotherapy or osteopathy are on the rise. People want to take the conservative route first before going under the knife.
- Fitness as a lifestyle: In the past, it was all about bodybuilding, but today people increasingly see their health as a value, health as an asset - and that they have to take personal responsibility for it.
What is your vision for a smart healthy home, Seth Casden?... says Seth Casden is the CEO of Hologenix. The company's technology called Celliant, a textile that converts and mirrors body heaters into infra-red beams, is also used by Blackroll - for example, in its blankets.
(🤝 Meet Seth at Linkedin)
(👁️ Check out Hologenix)
Question 3: What have you learned about home fitness audiences?
- Health is an issue at home: We had tried to create a category for health at work - and we abandoned that strategy. Primarily because of the shift to working from home, but also because we saw that people prefer to do it at home. No one wanted to take a roller into the office.
- Age hardly plays a role: our target groups are both men and women. Almost 10,000 people took part in our last Fascia Online Challenge. All age groups were evenly represented - with minor exceptions among the under-24s and the over-55s. These were represented somewhat less frequently.
- Target groups are need groups: We distinguish between problem or need groups - and how they use our products. Is it about pain, wellness, or performance? These are our categories.
Context of this article: FitTech Summit - FIBO Edition: High Tech Society
The context of the contents of this article: The sixth FitTech Summit at FIBO 2022. The German- and English-language business conference asked: How are fitness technologies (Fittech) developing our society? Answers were provided by 14 experts on three live stage shows:
Power to the People - how fittech is changing the reality of (new) audiences.
Cases of Places - how Fittech transforms places of (public) life.
The Planet's Tenet - how fittech influence worlds and systems.