APPLE POUNDS THE TREADMILL
The Apple Watch’s gym equipment feature called, you guessed it, GymKit is a great idea with a major glitch.
GymKit is now a standard feature in WatchOS 4.1, and eager gym types only have to tap-to-connect to treadmills and ellipticals.
The idea is that you tap GymKit during your workout, and if you’re a speed walking gym junkie, for example, the treadmill’s screen will show you what your Apple Watch would show during the same workout.
As a paired fitness device the Apple Watch with GymKit is a dandy idea.
On treadmills, it’s designed to be a buzz. Tap the paired treadmill, and your Apple watch screen displays a confirmation screen.
You’re then asked if you want to process a brisk walk or a marathon. From this moment the machine and your watch seem to work with a single electronic brain providing info about pace, active/total calories, and heart rate.
Once you’ve confirmed you’re still alive you can dip into individual strands of data such as how many steps you’ve climbed.
The pairing of Apple Watch and gym machines also means your individual height and weight are factored in without you having to program your fitness machine.
And yes, you can pause your session on your machine, and woohoo, your Apple watch also pauses.
As for heart rate info, this is provided from the Apple Watch or a chest strap. The system is so damned clever that if you forget to pair at the start of your work out, pairing later will sync the info into Apple’s Activity app and Apple health.
At the end of your fitness grind, all the info accrued is sent from the watch to the machine but is erased when you quit the workout. Moreover, the data is automatically sent to your Apple Watch and iPhone where it’s displayed with the brand of the machine you laboured on.
So, a truly great idea with one flaw. Good luck finding a gym where the equipment has been tweaked to pair with GymKit.
Fitness First members will be the lucky ones with its Barangaroo Titatium, Bond St Platinum (Sydney CBD), Bondi Platinum and Richmond Platinum clubs already fitted out with the world-first GymKit technology.
But ever the eternal optimists, we expect GymKit technology to roll out quite quickly in gyms across Australia.
Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected tech and audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to GadgetNET.
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