Smart Building

Fitness Centers Pump Up IoT Technology

Create: 12/04/2017 - 18:34
Advantech Intel Smart Fitness

Photo: Intel

The local gym is moving from dumbbells to smart tools, as fitness clubs are starting to drastically modify their offerings to accommodate the changing workout landscape. The necessities of increasing efficiency and providing a better user experience are clear to business owners, and the tools to do so are at their fingertips.

One solution provider, Advantech based in Milpitas, CA, is focused on using embedded technology for better training at the gym. A leader in innovative embedded and automation products and solutions, Advantech offers a handful of IoT and connected devices that maximize the fitness center experience. From biometric member check-in to workout equipment that automatically calibrates to a user’s personal strength capabilities, the gym of the future will have the technology to push fitness training to an elite new level.

The Ultimate Advantech Fitness Center

Advantech has a portfolio of technologies that help fitness centers regulate everything from the air quality in the spinning room to the multimedia screens on each treadmill. Here’s a sampling of what the company is integrating into fitness centers:

Web access and indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring: WebAccess+IAQ visualizes air information collected by sensors, making indoor air quality management easier. With powerful database management capabilities, fitness centers can create air quality analysis reports, reduce personnel costs and contribute to achieving a healthy exercise environment. These tools help to ensure public health and safety and maintain consistent energy efficiency.

Interactive multimedia broadcast system: An interactive multimedia system offers the option for customized content, advertisements and new offers. Queuing status can be updated, and the fitness centers can display media on digital terminals or multi-display video walls, depending upon the needs at each location.

Beyond these smart gym solutions, Advantech offers digital signage applications, including multi-functional all-in-one touch computers and media platforms. Each supports a multitude of media types, including interactive apps, Internet, TV and videos. Individual display terminals have the capability of being controlled, backed up and restored remotely.

 

Advantech Intel Fitness Center

Image: Advantech

Fitness center self-service system: To improve customer experience by decreasing wait times at service counters, a self-service system allows members to use a membership card to access their online account, workout schedule, register for classes and send payments. Members have more control over their exercise routines, and business owners can streamline operations and improve service levels.

Another benefit involves membership data that the system collects. Owners can use this data to develop customized loyalty programs aligned with the needs of every member. The self-service terminals provide information via the interactive digital signage displays.

Embedded systems: Supporting multiple applications, Advantech’s multifunctional all-in-one touch computers include several functions, including self check-in, loyalty programs, entertainment and smart training programs. Members can track their fitness progress while having access to customizable music and video content, keeping them engaged and entertained while exercising.

An added benefit is the diverse set of available peripheral systems, allowing owners to enhance their services. Bar code scanners, or NFC (RFID) readers, allow members to register for classes online or check-in using their membership card. These embedded systems help to increase attendance, while improving the overall exercise experience.

Team Fitness: Intel, Advantech, Wind River

Advantech notes that consumer expectations around fitness consoles are shaped by the interactive experiences delivered by smart tablets and smart phones. A healthy 76 percent of fitness club members bring a mobile device with them, according to a report by Health Strategy Solutions. With this in mind, cardio equipment manufacturers must design in-fitness consoles that provide high-quality audio and video, offer connectivity to mobile devices and integration to consumer applications.

In response to these demands, Intel, Advantech and Wind River have joined forces to create the Diamond Field fitness console. Built by Advantech and powered by the Intel Atom™ processor N2930, the console features integrated Android OS software support from Wind River. With a standard, open-frame platform, it delivers performance, low power, robust connectivity and OS support for Windows, Linux and Android. A connected stand-alone device, the console provides users with access to entertainment, social media and training applications.  

Exercise your Fitness Solution Knowledge

Checking In: The IoT Hotel Room of the Future

Create: 11/29/2017 - 19:26
Marriott IoT GuestroomLab

Photo: Marriott International

Hotel companies are always trying to move one step ahead of the competition by creating the most comfortable room experience possible for the leisure and business traveler. In the newest wave of room improvements, Marriott International teamed up with Samsung and Legrand to create the hospitality industry’s Internet of Things hotel room.

Described by Marriott as “the ultimate hotel experience of the future,” the new prototype room features services such as a yoga routine directed by a mirror and a shower that can automatically set the temperature to the traveler’s preferences.

Dubbed the IoT Guestroom Lab, the concept room is powered by Marriott’s Innovation Lab and is built at the company’s corporate headquarters in Bethesda, MD. The goal of the project is to explore concepts that have the potential to elevate the guest experience and create more efficient hotel room design and construction. As a “smart” hotel room, the Lab will facilitate several communications networks and multiple responsive IoT systems, devices and applications to communicate with one another to serve guests’ needs and optimize hotel operations.

Marriott International Room of the future

Photo: Marriott International

"Guests expect to personalize almost everything in their lives, and their hotel experience should be no different," said Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer, Marriott International, in a recent statement. "By teaming with best-in-class partners, we are leveraging mobile and voice-enabled technology to give our guests the ability to set up the room to best meets their needs—whether that is creating the ultimate relaxation environment or one that enables productivity for business travelers."

Shining a Light on IoT Controls

One of the partners in the project, Legrand, is a French industrial solution provider that specializes in electrical and digital building infrastructure technology. According to the company website, Legrand focuses on solutions that bring power, light and data to interior spaces, aiming to transform the customer experience.

“Legrand is partnering with Marriott to improve the guest experience in a cost-effective and intuitive manner. This work supports our Eliot Program in North America, Legrand’s global IoT program that drives product innovation and fosters our partnerships in the IoT space,” said Ken Freeman, senior vice president of demand creation, Legrand, in a recent statement.

Using IoT technology, Marriott wants to give hotel owners a seamless, transparent and flexible end-to-end solution that requires minimal equipment. The tech-infused rooms provide customers with an integrated experience, with access to their own data and information, as well as accessible voice- and mobile-optimized controls. These systems would also benefit hotel operations and improve personalized service.

Some features and services under consideration in the IoT Guestroom lab include:

  • A virtual assistant that can arrange wake-up calls, request hotel services or direct devices in the room through an app or voice command.
  • Personal preferences, where guests can register preferences such as temperature settings for showers and instruct the virtual assistant to turn on the water.
  • In-room tablets that function as room remote controls and offer quick access to hotel services, room service menus or spa reservations.
  • Digital mirrors or large screens that display a yoga or stretching routine, news, headlines, local weather and other useful information.
  • Digital wall art that can change to meet traveler preferences.

Following the three-month testing and evaluation of IoT Guestroom Lab, Marriott, Samsung and Legrand will analyze feedback to continue innovating with IoT technology. Consumers will start to see elements of the technology in hotel rooms within the next five years, according to Marriott.

 Rest Easy with IoT

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