Apple’s GymKit has landed for the first time in the North American continent in a gym located right in New York City, the Life Time Athletic at Sky. But the feature is heading to Equinox by next year. GymKit actually has already rolled out in two gyms in the United Kingdom, while in Australia, no less than five gyms already got the feature.
For those not familiar yet with Apple’s GymKit, it is a feature that is built into WatchOS 4.1, which was released more than a month ago. First introduced during the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) held in summer earlier this year, GymKit is a fitness platform that basically allows owners of Apple Watch devices to seamlessly sync their smartwatch with that of a supported treadmill machine, or other exercise gadgets like a stationary bike or a step machine. The result is that the process of collecting fitness data from the Apple Watch and stats from the compatible gym equipment is made more collaborative and easier.
How does GymKit manage to do that? The feature takes full advantage of both Bluetooth technology and near field communications (NFC) in facilitating the continuous exchange of data between smartwatch and exercise machine. While it is true that the data and stats are displayed in real time during an exercise session, all the information will be coursed through to the user’s Apple Watch unit and iPhone. As for the exercise data on the gym equipment, it will be deleted after every workout.
Some may have observed that the US deployment of GymKit is rather slow, but considering the popularity of the Apple Watch in the country, the next few months should see increased adoption among American gyms. According to a report published by TechCrunch, Apple is confident that it has covered around 80 percent of the gym fitness markets.
Given the strength of Apple’s brand, there is no doubt that manufacturers of gym equipment will be wanting to join in on the GymKit party. And of course, gyms across the United States will also be eager to start getting compatible equipment, especially if their customer base consists of many Apple Watch owners. Other gym equipment makers are even open to the idea of retrofitting old machines. As long as there are no major compatibility concerns, it really is a matter of adding a new chip into the exercise machine, or upgrading the top console.
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