What's the Difference?
Not a lot in most cases! But we are going to take the time to explain it to you. And a few other new buzzwords also...
Virtual Fitness is a term that has been around since approx 2013. It was historically assigned to the ability to setup a kiosk in a club (or really anywhere) and have pre-recorded workouts loaded onto the kiosk allowing individuals to select a workout from the list available. Think of it as a workout jukebox or if you are too young to get that analogy then just think of a collection of DVD's without the disks. Virtual Fitness actually relied very little on the use of streaming technology.
While this technology was interesting, it really was focused on cost reduction for clubs that either didn't want to staff instructors for classes or perhaps didn't have group fitness in their offerings. These systems are very popular in low-price budget clubs.
This technology was also really just a way of playing pre-recorded workouts created by third-party content providers. Virtual Fitness providers have recently started to lean towards incorporating Fitness Streaming into their offering.
Fitness Streaming was a term introduced in 2017 by FitCloudConnect in order to differentiate from older Virtual Fitness solutions which primarily serviced to deliver third-party content to members via a kiosk in the club. There was no monetization of this model other than by eliminating instructor salary overhead and ultimately reducing costs.
Fitness Streaming refers to a "2nd Generation Virtual Fitness" that is built on the foundation of 5 Core Principles:
1. Deliver content via streaming technology to any device, anywhere, anytime (in the club, out of the club or anywhere)
2. Deliver both Live Events and pre-recorded VOD (video-on-demand)
3. Offer numerous significant new revenue streams over and above any cost savings benefits
4. Offer members a way to engage with the club in a meaningful way will inside or outside the club
5. Offer members flexibility, choice, convenience and true value to enhancing their membership and improving loyalty and retention
Of course there any over 20 tangible and unique benefits to using FitCloudConnect Fitness Streaming which are outlined in our whitepaper "Recognizing the Key Benefits of FitCloudConnect Fitness Streaming for Your Business"
AnyWhere Fitness is the ability to stream fitness content to any device, anywhere, anytime.
In fact, it's more than that. It's the ability for consumers to have the choice, flexibility and option of consumer fitness workouts on any internet connected device whether they are in the club, at home, at work, on vacation or wherever.
It also is critical to mention that the secret to success for offering consumers online fitness streaming is to have a hybrid offering which allows them to come into the club whenever they want but also have the flexibility to get workouts done if they can't make it.
Members find comfort in knowing that a fitness club is a physical presence and they can walk in the doors if they wish. While some consider YouTube and other direct-to-consumer fitness offerings high risk to their success, we assert that individuals will almost always choose a hybrid offering over one that exists as a physical-only or online-only offering.
FitCloudConnect is the AnyWhere Fitness Connection TM
Virtual Fitness Training Center
In 2017 FitCloudConnect introduced a fitness streaming service based on Cloud technology and a technology platform as a service. This platform was designed to offer fitness clubs and wellness providers with the ability to setup a fitness streaming/virtual fitness offering very easily without the need for technology expertise or outside development efforts.
FitCloudConnect coined the term Virtual Fitness Training Center (VFTC) to represent the online studio that is created for each club which is ultimately branded and offered to their members.
A VFTC is strictly a marketing term referring to the FitCloudConnect platform.
Virtual Reality Fitness
Virtual Reality is certainly not a new technology but is gaining popularity across many industries.
Virtual reality uses virtual reality headsets along with accompanying apps and games to create a realistic immersive experience. Imaging being able to look around and up and down and see the entire environment. Combine the visual with strong audio capabilities and a very nice experience can be created for the user.
Keep in mind that while VR is a hot new trend for fitness, it certainly has limited scope as it requires the wearing of a headset similar to what's shown in the image.
We are not sure how much exercise and jumping around you want to be doing without being able to see. The headsets can also become very hot and sweaty when wearing them around the eyes for extended periods.
VR is very popular in gaming but inevitably will become a very interesting part of the future of fitness.