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One of the biggest challenges that the fitness industry has faced is their approach to capturing member usage data – Members pay you some amount of money and then they come into your club and lose track.

By usage data we don’t mean only the check in data but the data about usage of amenities. Once members enter the premises, they are lost into the vast areas of the gym. The fitness operator has no clue about where the members are, what equipment they are using, or which part of the gym they are spending more time on. And so, they lose the ability to create any sort of meaningful engagement with their members.

Transforming The Member Experience For Fitness Clubs With Computer Vision

We look at the world today and we know that personalized customer experiences are everything. When the business knows the customer, so many possibilities arise.

Identity creates opportunity

We all know the story of Peloton and their connected fitness bikes and treadmills. The equipment is connected to the Internet and they’re able to stream live and pre recorded content to a mounted screen and engage with their subscribers.

When you live in a digital world, it’s easy to capture data. With a connected bike or treadmill and a smartwatch or fitness band integration, the company knows:

  • When they’re on the machine
  • What classes they picked
  • Which instructors they prefer
  • How many miles they did and calories they burned

They can even know if they move the CTA (call to action) button from one side of the screen to the other side of the screen how the member may react. They can do A/B testing and only move the button for some users and not others. This way, they get product information back from a development perspective.

This level of engagement creates raving fans. So, this is an example of data which becomes relevant information, which in turn becomes actionable, and leads to engagement.

Quality service, uniqueness and personalization determine the success of your brand.

E-commerce companies like Amazon and eBay do this all the time. You’ll see that sometimes the user interface is slightly different for some users because they are doing A/B testing to determine what the most viable level of engagement is on just button placement.

Button placement is very meaningful because if you’ve got a button that says, ‘Buy Now’, it’s important where you place it. Brick and mortar businesses don’t necessarily have that level of context, and gyms even less.

Now, gyms and fitness clubs cannot do that. Even though the members visit for a limited time, they have a lot of data. What they lack is actionable information. This is where the fitness industry requires their own use cases, and the combination of various technologies and data practices makes it possible.

The challenge is how do you take this data and transform it into actionable information? Is it possible to recreate such digital experiences in the real world?

Security cameras to the rescue

Most gyms and fitness clubs have security cameras feeds and that’s one of the problems we are solving at DXFactor. We are working on using camera feeds and AI to be able to tell a member once they come into the club. As a result, the member of your fitness club gets more than just a greeting by the receptionist. They go through a personalized experience with your establishment, which creates loyalty.

We did a small project for the trade show at IHRSA 2022, where we just wanted to know how many people were in a particular part of the gym at any given point, so we took the IP camera feed that they had already, and we overlaid some AI on it.

As a person went past the camera, we would count that as one record. And depending on the direction that they were walking, they were either coming in or coming out. So, we could accurately count the number of people that were going into a certain area of the venue at any given point. What is the value of that information? You can start creating heat maps inside your facility.

Transforming The Member Experience For Fitness Clubs With Computer Vision

You want to know how many people are:

  • Going into your group exercise class?
  • Huddling near the treadmills, bikes or weights?
  • Gathering at the steam or sauna?

This information can help you to decide where you’re going to put the newest piece of equipment that you just purchased, because you want to put that newest piece of equipment where the most people are so that they can be exposed to it and see it.

The next level – The who

We covered the what and the when, so what about the who? This is where the whole game changes. And why is ‘the who’ important?

Transforming-The-Member-Experience-For-Fitness-Clubs-With-Computer-Vision

We discussed Peloton, the connected fitness equipment. It’s all about the combination of data that becomes information which can answer the toughest questions.

Think beyond the obvious

Many times, people think about AI, ML and business intelligence, and they often are scared by what it all means. But at the end of the day, AI is not just about trying to figure out some sort of an algorithm to track retention or to predict sales. It can be as simple as just tracking who’s coming and who’s going. And knowing that direction of someone walking is giving you that data which can be really powerful.

We have all these opportunities out there and it’s just a matter of taking a minute, stepping away from our day-to-day operations and understanding how we can take the data and transform it into actionable information.

If you have any questions or are looking to pilot a project on computer vision for your fitness club, talk to our experts.