Industry Buzz: Emerging Technology Trends to Watch for in 2018

technology trends

As a club operator, it’s in your best interest to stay on top of the trends in technology expected to affect clubs of all shapes, sizes and models in 2018.

In a recent webinar, Bill Colbert of Styku predicted that the following three emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on clubs in the near future:

  • Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Gamification
  • Wearables — specifically Smart Clothes
  • 3D Body Scanning

Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Gamification

According to Colbert, these technologies provide clubs with a unique opportunity to engage customers in exciting and extremely entertaining ways. Although the technology is still very new, it won’t be long before virtual reality and augmented reality become more mainstream for average users.

With these technologies, Colbert said club operators must consider the following:

  • What instances might you recommend a member give VR a try?
  • Given what can be validated about its effectiveness, how would you integrate this into existing programming?
  • Is this type of VR right for your member base?
  • How would you market this new equipment?

Keep these questions in mind as VR and AR continue to develop.

Wearables — Smart Clothes

Like all technologies, wearables too have evolved in just a few years, transitioning from being worn on a user’s wrist, to now being integrated into clothing.

According to Colbert, the real opportunity with “smart clothes” in particular lies in a club’s ability to quantify their program’s and trainer’s effectiveness. “There’s nothing better than being able to prove through data that you have made a true impact and enacted positive change for an athlete or a member,” said Colbert.

As an example, Colbert highlighted Athos, a platform that allows clubs to quantify their customer’s gains through smart clothes that have built-in sEMG sensors.

3D Body Scanning

According to Colbert, “Retention comes from results-driven experiences. That’s the bottom line.”

And 3D body scanners provide clubs with an opportunity to showcase results in a much more detailed and precise way than other methods. “You’re held in a higher regard if you can truly help people see quantifiable change in their body,” said Colbert.

Not only is 3D body scanning helping clubs increase their retention, it’s also helping them boost sales. Gold’s Gym tested Styku, a 3D body scanner, in six locations against a control group of clubs in the same area, and the positive results were undeniable. The close rate increased by 122 percent, and personal training sales increased by 150 percent.

“If you’re in a position where closing more personal training sales would make or break your month or financial quarter, these are serious considerations to take into account when you think, how are we going to grow this business?” said Colbert.

For further insights on these three emerging technologies, watch the full webinar here.

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