The Best Workouts Take Place in an Augmented Reality

Forget your iPod and your fitness tracker – AR workouts are in.

augmented realityThe global Pokemon hype is fortunately behind us, though augmented reality technology and apps are getting more advanced and practical by the day; let’s look at the some of the latest applications of AR.

AR-friendly hardware

iPhone iOS 11 users can benefit from a variety of new AR-enabled apps, thanks to ARKit tools that Apple made available to assist the developer community in building user-friendly AR apps. These apps are available on iPhones and iPads with an A9 chip or later, enriching the world around us by displaying overlays and content specific to locations and objects.

For the Android users, Asus ZenFone AR and the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro make good use of augmented reality utilising Google’s Project Tango platform. ARCore is helping extend AR to other Android phones as well.

Working out in an augmented reality

Getting in shape is no longer a simple matter of putting on your sneakers, grabbing your mp3 player or your phone and heading out for a run. New AR tech is taking our home and outdoor exercising to a whole new level.

Companies like New Zealand’s ARX, for example, are providing AR-assisted personal fitness training sessions to clients. AR glasses are worn for the purpose, blending the task of exercising with the fun experience of playing a video game. Jump squat shooter, press up shooter and runner motions are some of the activities included in the customised cardio regimens. Best part of this workout? You can fit one in whenever and wherever you may be.

AR data fuelling the revolution

With data-driven apps like Strava, capturing extensive data is now a formality and can be done directly through the app in real time, or imported from another device, like a GPS watch or a computer. There is now a large number of smart watch and smartphone fitness apps that can track anything from your heartbeat and the route travelled to your average speed and exercise duration. This data can, in turn, be fed into AR apps.

Running and biking in augmented reality

A new app by the name of Fitness AR was developed with iOS’ augmented reality features in mind, helping fitness enthusiasts visualise their workouts in an entirely new way. The app combines data captured by Strava with Apple’s ARKit API to produce AR maps that show activity routes as virtual 3D terrain maps. The map images are projected onto any flat physical surface, and the viewer can interact with them via their phone’s or tablet’s Fitness AR app.

With the help of the app, cyclists, runners and hikers can plan their future workouts by looking at topographic models of the terrain they are considering, envisioning it from every angle and preparing to conquer it in the best possible way. Featured activities in Fitness AR include a 40-km hike to Coll de Soller in Mallorca or a 27-km run in Koppenberg, Belgium – check them out in 3D on your wall, wardrobe door or table at your convenience. Examining historical data about past workouts is made easy as well, allowing athletes to track fitness goals and progress over time.

An augmented future

Beyond fitness apps, there is a multitude of games, social media toys, e-commerce/physical retail experience and other potential applications of AR tech that span various industries. In the coming years we will see augmented reality interrupt quite a few traditional business models, will yours be one of them?  

Copwriter: Ina Danova

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