Active Lifestyle Trends
The latest technology trends involving software or apps that promote an active lifestyle include the emergence of blockchain-enabled apps, the rise of artificial intelligence-powered apps, the use of gamification and virtual reality, the rise of audio-only fitness coaching apps, and the emergence of apps that make outdoor recreation safer and more accessible. Below, we discuss how we arrived at these trends.
In answering this request, the first thing we did was check if there are articles or reports in the public domain that readily provide the requested trends. Articles or reports directly discussing the latest technology trends in applications promoting an active lifestyle are in short supply, however, and the only relevant source we found is Trend Hunter's paywalled report on active lifestyle trends. This may contain the latest technology trends as it covers how people are "staying fit and healthy both inside and outside the home.
As a workaround, we looked at the types of lifestyle fitness, workout, exercise, and recreation apps that were launched in the past two years. We also examined the app features that were recently introduced. Based on our examination of these recent app and feature launches, there appears to be an emergence of apps and features that utilize technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and gamification. and that deal with recreation or audio-only on-demand fitness instructions or coaching. To confirm if our observations are indeed trends, we checked if a reputable organization or individual in the public domain has made observations similar to ours. True enough, we were able to find articles that confirmed our observations.
EMERGENCE OF BLOCKCHAIN-ENABLED APPS
Blockchain appears to have found its way to the active lifestyle space. At least two startups have launched a blockchain-enabled fitness app in the past two years. One is Sweatcoin, which counts a person's physical movement through a step count and rewards the person with Sweatcoin, the app's own currency. The Sweatcoin, in turn, can be exchanged for gym classes, Fitbits, fitness gear, or other gifts. What makes Sweatcoin interesting is that it encourages users to go outside as it only counts steps made outdoors. It has its own step counter and GPS. The app's founders hope that Sweatcoin will soon be recognized as "a cryptocurrency in its own right."
Another fitness technology startup that has utilized blockchain is Lympo.io. Similar to Sweatcoin, it encourages people to live an active lifestyle by incentivizing movement or activity. The reward comes in the form of LYM tokens, which can then be used to buy products or services that promote fitness. It also reinforces a sense of community, as it allows interested entrepreneurs to utilize its anonymized data in cresting new fitness-focused startups. It also encourages users to donate to promising startups using their LYM tokens.
RISE OF AI-POWERED APPS
The number of fitness companies leveraging artificial intelligence to provide personalized training or coaching to users appears to be increasing. Companies are using artificial intelligence to determine what a user's body needs and is capable of, and to develop and oversee workouts, or even offer motivation. A frontrunner in this space is Freeletics, which provides AI-powered training plsans and has consistently been a top-ranking app on Google Play and the App Store. Another notable company exemplifying this trend is Tonal, a Silicon Valley startup that provides tailored exercises through an AI personal trainer. This trainer compares a user's performance with every other repetition that user has completed before. Initial athletic ability is determined through a fitness test. Other fitness-focused companies that have taken advantage of artificial intelligence include Nautilus, Boltt Sports, and Fitwell.
USE OF GAMIFICATION AND VIRTUAL REALITY
Black Box VR's showcase at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) demonstrates that virtual reality (VR) and gamification has entered the fitness or exercise arena. The software comes with a VR headset and a resistance machine. Using the headset immerses the user in a selection of arenas, where the user can train alone or compete with others or an avatar. Considering that VR has the ability to gamify workouts, it has the potential to appeal to people with mostly sedentary lifestyles, such as video gamers and office workers.
RISE OF AUDIO-ONLY FITNESS COACHING APPS
Recognizing that looking at a screen for visual cues may actually hamper workouts, some companies are investing in apps that provide audio-only fitness instruction. One great example of a company doing this is Aaptiv, which deals exclusively with audio-only fitness coaching apps. Its success as a company doing this can be seen in the number of Aaptiv ears-only classes taken each day. Aaptiv claims that around 30,000 Aaptiv workouts ranging from running to boxing are taken each day. Another example is ClassPass, which has recently launched ClassPass Go, its own version of audio-only classes. These companies believe that "strictly listening allows for fluid and free movement." Audio-only apps have a huge potential to scale up as they are cheaper than audio with video apps. A sign that this type of app is fluorishing is the emergence of fitness-tracking headphones.
EMERGENCE OF RECREATION-FOCUSED APPS
There is also a growing number of apps that focus on outdoor recreation. Among them are The Outbound, which offers a huge database of outdoor adventures, HipCamp, which connects travelers to unique camping experiences, Chimani National Parks Guides, which provides detailed guides to the national parks of the United States, and Yonder, which helps connect outdoor recreation entusiasts with one another. Most of these apps focus on making outdoor recreation safer and more accessible.