Smart fitness equipment: How training apps control fitness equipment


Endurance training on fitness equipment, in which the resistance changes at certain intervals, is nothing new: In every reasonably well-equipped sports studio, ergometers have been found for years that allow interval training – with modern models accompanied by animations or videos on a connected display.

Exercise machines with dynamic resistance have been available for home use for more than ten years, but the selection was initially limited. Mainly available were roller trainers in which road bikes could be clamped and which simulated mountain stages over a changing resistance. They could usually only be controlled by a program from the manufacturer that ran on a computer (usually connected via RS232 or USB).

Today the situation is completely different: there are exercise bikes such as smart indoor bicycles (smart bikes), roller trainers (bike trainers) and ergometers that use programs on the consoles of the devices themselves or (wirelessly) via separate cycle computers , Control smartphones and tablets with training apps. Above all, many of these controllable models work together with various training apps such as Zwift, BKool, TrainerRoad, PerfPro and Kinomap. Companies like Peloton, on the other hand, who limit the control of their well-known indoor bike to their own app and thus secure their business model, are the exception.

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