The primary users of Tonal are longtime fitness enthusiasts who are motivated, disciplined and want to improve their fitness with better workouts.
There is no question that consumers have a greater interest and a more proactive role in managing their health and wellbeing. While we are all suffering from pandemic fatigue, COVID-19 has helped accelerate this trend, especially in the growth of personal health devices and technology.
Networked health awareness is increasing
According to Parks Associates’ Analyst Insight: Consumer Trends in Telecare and Connected Health, released during the research company’s Connected Health Summit in June, technology adoption has increased dramatically across the health spectrum, including among consumers and clinicians. Remote health consultations delivered via video, voice, or text have increased significantly since Q2 2019, with only 15 percent of US broadband households (5,000 surveyed) using these tools, up from 64 percent in Q2 2021.
“The use of electrical appliances has skyrocketed,” said Kristen Hanich, senior analyst at Parks Associates. “Today technology is no longer perceived as a threat, but as a valuable tool.”
This is reflected in the data, as Parks Associates reports that 55 percent of consumers surveyed have “an Internet-connected health or fitness device that collects biometric information.” Users cited multiple uses for these devices including chronic condition monitoring, telemedical diagnostic assistance, independent living, and fitness assistance.
The trend towards user-controlled health monitoring has increased in recent years, said Jan Vitrofsky, founder of HEDsouth, a technology integration company that offers its customers planned solutions in entertainment, health and wellness, lighting, shading and smart home control.
“In recent years, consumers have become much more aware and invested in their health and wellbeing, and they are using all the tools and devices available to improve their wellbeing,” noted Vitrofsky. “For example, you’ve seen Apple provide default smart device settings for warm tones of light and cooler tones of light for better sleep and productivity. And people now know that smart apps can monitor sleep, temperature, heart rate, and more. We see these trends in consumer understanding both inside and outside the home. ”Vitrofsky was instrumental in introducing global wellness company Delos to home automation companies like Crestron and Lutron. Delos “develops products, programs and solutions that transform environments into vehicles for health, wellbeing, performance and resilience.” The company pioneered the WELL Building Standard, which is now the global benchmark for promoting health and wellbeing in buildings.
Delos also introduced DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence – an automated solution that helps improve energy, sleep and general well-being while reducing indoor pollutants through air, water, light, comfort and sound solutions.
Measurement of these vital signs increased during the pandemic. The Oura ring became famous in 2020 when NBA players began wearing the device to detect early signs of COVID-19. Oura’s readiness metric measures the rate of sleep and activity over a two-week base period and rates heart rate, heart rate variability, temperature, and respiratory rate.
However, the Oura Ring isn’t the only device of its kind on the market. WHOOP is a 24/7 wearable technology that measures external and internal stressors on the body, both during training and in everyday life. Recommended by popular athletes including NFL player Patrick Mahomes, WHOOP measures physiological data, including sleep (recommending ideal sleep and wake times based on personal circadian rhythm); Stress (cardiovascular stress all day); and recovery. It provides actionable feedback for each factor, identifies areas for improvement, and empowers positive behaviors. The company, which has grown from 120 employees in January 2020 to 500 employees today, recorded strong membership growth from October 2019 to October 2020, fivefold compared to the previous year.
Compared to other wearables, “we have no screen, no lights, no vibrations, etc. and were purposely designed as a personalized, digital fitness and health trainer that supports the needs of members,” said a WHOOP spokesman. “WHOOP is the only truly continuous 24/7 monitoring device as our battery can be slid onto the device without ever having to remove the WHOOP to recharge.”
“There is no question that people are much more sensitive and aware of their personal health and well-being,” added Vitrofsky. “It has really become more of a matter of course than a ‘nice-to-have’ and we will see that this trend will continue. I find that it is easier to address the topic of integrated home wellness systems than it was before the pandemic – and even compared to six months ago … We move faster in discussions from the question of why we are doing it, our approach. “
The FITBENCH FREE is aimed at exercisers who like to go to the gym in order to get socially involved, but also want to have the same experience at home.
The home fitness market is developing
A conversation about wellness at home cannot go without a mention of fitness. The home fitness market has seen a boom due to the 2020 pandemic restrictions as well as increased consumer interest in being able to control their health outcomes.
A report from ReportLinker [Home Fitness Equipment Market — Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021-2026)] suggests, “The North American market has seen significant growth due to the rising health awareness of consumers with the increased adoption of exercise related to physical wellbeing, weight management, improving physical endurance and muscle strength that are driving market growth in the country … Furthermore, the increasing health care interventions enable and rising health care costs encourage consumers to exercise regularly in order to stay fit. “
According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global home fitness equipment market was valued at $ 5.54 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $ 11.45 billion by 2027, which is at a CAGR from 2021 to 2027 grows by 7.8%.
One of the most popular additions to the home gym is Tonal’s AI-powered full-body fitness system. A spokesperson for the company said it has “seen unprecedented demand due to the need for a smart home gym during the pandemic. The introduction of smart exercise equipment for the home during the pandemic taught consumers that they should expect more from their exercise. A new demand for innovation has emerged and we don’t expect it to slow down. “
Tonal has updated weightlifting by replacing heavy metal plates with an AI-linked electromagnetic system that evaluates and coaches users, helping them set and achieve goals in a streamlined and personalized way. The weights are optimized and precisely adjusted based on how much stronger a user becomes. The heart rate zone function can be integrated with other devices such as heart rate monitors and Apple Watch. Tonal’s heart rate zone provides heart rate data so users can burn more calories during a workout and exercise at more intensity. Users can track current heart rate zones either on tonal or with an Apple Watch.
Tonal recently teamed up with luxury retailer Nordstrom. “The partnership with Nordstrom was a natural addition for Tonal to be in front of the eyes of the target customers,” said the Tonal spokesman. “Given the huge demand, partnering with Nordstrom has allowed us to quickly expand our retail presence so potential customers can feel the magic of Tonal before they buy.”
Another innovator in the fitness market who has recognized that fitness enthusiasts are looking for similar solutions at home is Tyler Danen, founder of FITBENCH. After working in sales for Woodway, a treadmill manufacturer for a decade, and with IronMan experience behind them, Danen saw the need for a consolidated solution for housing fitness accessories and developed the product five years ago. Originally conceived for commercial use in boutique studios, the FITBENCH has been increasingly admired and in demand for home use.
Danen launched FITBENCH FREE last month to target exercisers who like to go to the gym for social engagement but want the same experience at home too. He says this trend started before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has certainly accelerated it. There are two models: naked and fully loaded. The “naked” version is used to store existing equipment and the fully loaded version comes with resistance bands, four sets of weights, a slam ball and a kettlebell.
“I think there will be a flex model in the future where people work out at home for a few days and then in the gym for a few days,” said Danen.
The product, which Danen calls functional bank storage, is also entirely made in the USA and will soon be paired with an app that will allow users to follow interactive workouts with trainers. It can stream to any device and has Feed.FM which provides curated playlists for workouts.
Personal health gadgets and fitness technology are on the rise
The key word here is “move”. It seems that consumers will continue to accelerate the movement trend. According to a June 2021 report by RunRepeat, “Fitness Trends 2021: New Trends in Fitness,” the three fastest growing fitness trends among active adults: home fitness equipment (up 49.6 percent); Personal trainer / nutritionist (plus 47.5 percent); and online fitness classes, courses and subscriptions (up 16.8 percent). The report, which surveyed 4,538 active adults from 122 countries, also found that home fitness is exploding among active Americans and gym members. There was significant growth in both fitness equipment at home (plus 218.3 percent) and online fitness (plus 134.7 percent). Fitness studio members also recorded significant increases in fitness equipment for at home (115.9 percent) and online fitness (93.3 percent).
- The technology acceptance for administration /
Monitor health outcomes.
- User-controlled health surveillance is a growing trend that is further influenced by the pandemic.
- Home fitness has exploded to complement the growing interest in health and wellbeing.
Stephanie is Senior Managing Editor for Connected Design.