In the July issue of Club Solutions Magazine I had the opportunity to share my insights on the growth of virtual reality fitness and how it will potentially affect the club industry at large going forward. Click Here for the link to the article that includes others opinions and the original text from my point of view and be found below.
Why is virtual reality fitness something clubs should be keeping on their radar?
As the number of virtual reality fitness apps continues to explode on the market, clubs need to be figuring out now how they’re going to bring a VR-fitness solution into their clubs to stay ahead of the curve and, frankly stay competitive. It’s an important and attractive selling point for their current members and a great differentiator for the vast – and rapidly growing — gaming population that is new to fitness. That’s what we’re so excited about at Black Box VR. We offer a turn-key solution for clubs that combines resistance training, high-end VR equipment and a fully featured fitness training game . Learn more about the game here.
It’s is a far more custom experience than members would get with a home VR app workout. While VR fitness apps are getting better everyday, club members want, and will soon be expecting, a more robust VR workout experience at their local clubs. Plus, clubs should be thinking about it because it’s really fun! It takes the ‘work’ out of workout and introduces fitness to a whole new segment of the population that is already playing in the virtual reality space. With so much focus on fitness-oriented programs, operators need to be aware of what their members are being marketed and what their friends are talking about in the fitness space so they can understand how to program and keep their members engaged.
Is this space getting more competitive/growing?
The VR/AR space is growing exponentially with sales of VR units expecting to double in the next two years. This kind of growth attracts a lot of interest from the investment community and from game developers looking to create the next killer app. With more home use, the acceptance and demand for in-club VR workouts will also grow.
What else should club operators keep in mind regarding this trend?
It’s something to watch, understand, and stay on top of because it’s growing exponentially. Current operators need to think beyond their established paradigm of what fitness is and be ready to embrace this shift toward combining VR, fitness and gaming. Understanding how gaming psychology can help with exercise adherence may be the key to unlocking better retention rates for club operators and to attracting a broader fitness audience.
On Strava, Twitter, and Instagram you can find Ralph at @ralphrajs
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