Monday, February 25, 2008
Smart Fitness Machines
Here's another incantation of a project that Joshua Gomez was considering for the Document Engineering course and I was considering last semester for the XML Foundations course.
I thought XML would be a good way to store people's workout data because workouts plans are usually highly structured. Joshua thought that RFIDs in a person's membership card would be a good way for a machine to keep track of workouts (i.e. weights, reps, etc).
In this case, Hitachi is using a finger-vein scanner for user identification.
It keeps track of a user's progress, displays it on an LCD, and changes the resistance of the weights accordingly, on its own.
I believe the current price tag of $17,000 per unit is too steep for most gyms to adopt this technology readily. This would be especially true for older gyms that already own working equipment. Perhaps another (more cost-effective) approach to this would be to develop some kind of add-on system that allows users to identify themselves (e.g. using RFID technology). An attached monitor would show the user their progress, and allow them to punch in new information. Of course, weights would have to be adjusted manually in this case, but come-on, you are at a gym... you shouldn't really be complaining about moving a pin from one weight to another.
Here's the website:
Its a pretty good system--I should use it.
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