• 7 – 10 April 2022
  • Exhibition Centre Cologne

23  November 2021, by Maximilian Gaub

Fitness technology trends for 2022: Playful and collaborative with a female touch

Fitness technology for women, home gyms outside the home, ‘playful’ fitness and a new era of collaboration: four theses on the future of fitness and technology – and what leading industry entrepreneurs had to say about these topics at the most recent FitTech Summit. 

© Shutterstock

Founder Hélène Guillaume Pabis © Wild.AI

1. Fitness technology for a woman’s body – why the market is booming

Over one trillion dollars: that is how big the global market for fitness and health technologies for women's bodies is set to be by 2027. Fitness technology products for women include fitness apps like Wild.AI, which sensitively addresses a woman’s current biological status (menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause).

As Hélène Guillaume Pabis, the company’s founder and CEO, put it: “We want to become the Bloomberg of women’s health data.” Today, just four percent of global research and development funds in the health sector are devoted specifically to women's health. What might change this state of affairs?

Karina Vazirova, founder and CEO of the London-based accelerator FemTech Lab: “FemTech unites various global megatrends: the digitalisation of health, personalised medicine and strengthening the role of women.” 

2. ‘Home’ gyms are also moving into areas outside the home

The concept of home fitness studios has enjoyed a huge boom due to the pandemic. Manufacturers such as Kettler report that they sold 18 months’ worth of components for their products in a single week.

 

Now this boom in at-home gyms is making its way into hotels. Kettler, for example, recently announced a new collaboration with Rocco Forte Hotels that allows guests to order fitness equipment straight to their room. People on business trips want to carry as little luggage as possible. Sometimes it’s simply easier to use a rowing machine in boxer shorts in your hotel room than it is to get changed and train in public,” said Melanie Lauer, CEO of Kettler Trisport.

 

Fitness mirror manufacturers such as Forme and Mentra also made it clear at the recent FitTech Summit in November 2021 that they intended to follow this trend.

CEO Melanie Lauer © Kettler

CEO Keith Rumjahn © OliveX

3. Tomorrow's fitness will make a game of it

The principles behind digital gaming are set to make a splash in the world of fitness. “What is getting all the attention in the digital world today?” That was the question posed by Scott Dunlap, CEO of Adidas Runtastic, and he was ready with an answer: “Gaming is where the action is today, and games are winning.”

 

His forecast: fitness’ biggest opponent is gaming. According to Keith Rumjahn, CEO and founder of OliveX: “More young people today would prefer to watch a ‘League of Legends’ tournament than see Ronaldo’s first match with Manchester United.” His company uses blockchain technology to develop unique digital objects. Users that earn objects in fitness apps like Zombies Run! can take these items with them to other apps in future. Experts refer to the place where different providers are fully networked through the internet as the metaverse. And as our example shows, fitness providers can be a part of this parallel digital world. 

4. A new era of collaboration is beginning

The fitness mirror manufacturers at VAHA are joining forces with the tracker professionals from Garmin to create a new team. The muscle performance measurement specialists at Strive are collaborating with the AI experts from Macnica and the motion-tracking company Kinexon. These examples demonstrate that major players are joining forces in these times of transformative change. Valerie Bure-Bönström, CEO and founder of VAHA: “My Garmin device immediately gives me statistics on my training in real time on the VAHA.” Nikola Mrvaljevic, CEO and founder of Strive: “The wonderful thing about AI-based machine learning is that we can begin to understand patterns. In a few short years we’ll have enough data to conduct much more substantial risk management analyses.” 

 

About the author Maximilian Gaub
He is the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of FitTech Summit, which is based in Munich. The conference and network platform focuses on fitness technology and the future of well-being and active lifestyles. In his words: “We establish links between market participants and provide support.”

About the ‘FitTech Radar’ series

Technology is increasingly extending its tentacles into the world of fitness and health. What tech trends can we look forward to in coming months? In this series, the people behind our partners at FitTech Summit share their insights into the future world of fitness and health technologies with you.