AUTHOR: Chandrabh Akireddy
As we observe today’s widespread use of wearable fitness devices, individual data-driven training programs, and advanced workout machinery, technology is, without a doubt, becoming an integral part of the health and fitness industry.
What does embracing the Internet of Things (IOT) mean for business owners of fitness centers? In short, IOT enables them to take their businesses to a level of efficiency and intelligence that wasn’t possible before. Imagine a fitness center’s lights and A/C automatically adjusting themselves depending on where members are. What if equipment automatically collected data telling you if and when members were using them? To top it off, these data insights and many more, can be deployed in a matter of weeks with simple to use, inexpensive IOT solutions.
Improve customer experience through analytics-driven equipment decisions
Fitness center owners are oftentimes faced with their most popular equipment being fully utilized forcing members to wait in line. Meanwhile, other gym equipment is left unused. In order to provide a better member experience, owners can easily install sensors on gym equipment like cardio machines, free weights, and strength stations. IOT technology can determine gym usage patterns giving owners the insight they need to make “smart stocking” decisions.
Owners can view and track key metrics such as:
- Which equipment is the least and most used?
- Which days of the week and times of day correspond to highest equipment traffic?
- What is the frequency at which members are using a particular piece of equipment?
- How much energy is a piece of machinery consuming when not in use?
In addition to improving the overall member experience, fitness center owners can draw valuable insights from IOT technology to reduce costs, manage gym traffic, and optimize overall efficiency. For example, they can obtain data insights that tell them that every dumbbell heavier than 120 pounds is used on average less than once per day. Whereas, all five of the gym’s treadmills are in use for more than 90% of usual peak hours, with minimal downtime between uses implying people are waiting.
IOT technology gives the owner insights and analytics to replace their heavier dumbbells that rarely see use with the more popular treadmills. As a result, they can minimize their members’ wait times and allocate their resources more efficiently.
Reduce costs through responsive utility usage
Powerful data analytics also allow fitness centers to identify and eliminate unnecessary utility expenditures. For example, fitness centers are most likely spending resources keeping entire gyms at a high level of brightness during all open hours. Using IOT technology, data from heat sensors can track member traffic in the gym, and adjust lighting accordingly. Now, instead of keeping a gym lit to maximum brightness at 1 am when there are two people rowing in the corner, lighting levels can be automatically dimmed in areas of the gym where there is no foot traffic.
Similarly, a fitness center’s standard default level of air conditioning may not be sufficient during peak hours on a particularly busy day. During hours of lower gym traffic this same degree of air conditioning may be excessive or altogether unnecessary. IOT technology can easily be integrated into a fitness center’s air conditioning system to track member traffic and identify when heat levels are changing due to a crowd entering or leaving the gym. A/C levels can then be adjusted automatically in real time. This effectively improves the members’ experience, while at the same time optimizing the center’s operational costs.
Likewise, when gym machinery is not in use, there is an opportunity to save on unnecessary power consumption. With the addition of presence detection sensors, a data analytics platform can be used to instantly inform the gym staff via wireless alert of machines not in use. This simple reporting mechanism can be applied to even older, less “smart” equipment and thus can significantly cut energy expenditures.
IOT technology can make your fitness center more efficient and create a better member experience. These examples are just one of the many IOT workflows that can be developed using Medium One’s Data Intelligence Platform. For more information, check us out at www.mediumone.com.