Post 4: IMAX Shift® – The Next Great Fitness Movement.

Written by Meiying Lin

IMAXShift® is a new immersive group cycling studio powered by The IMAX Experience® base in America. The studio used the best techniques that exist in experience design and used that technique to change people’s exercise experience. Their first studio opened in Brooklyn, New York a few months ago. The aim of the studio is to encourage people to do exercise and to gain an excited experience while they workout.
Nowadays, many people not interest/dislike exercise because exercise makes them feel bored. Just thinking about exercising in a gym is enough to send many people back to the couch. In addition, lack of exercise is one of the main reason causes obesity rate growth. A research shows that obesity rate in America has doubled in children and has increased by 400% in adolescents over the past 30 years. It is obvious to see a regular gym is not appealing to most people. People dislike exercise is because they get bored.

“Let The IMAX Experience® change the way you think about fitness. Crystal clear audio surrounds you as sharp, hyperreal visuals suck you into the massive screen. A unique ride that leaves you breathless before you even break a sweat.”

To deal with this situation, IMAXShift decided upgraded the regular spin class with an IMAX screen and design to provide people with an immerse moving-going cycling workout experiences. The studio combines video, music, and exercise to help transport people working out to another world like they were in a virtual reality.

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Studio room design

The studio room has been designed with 40×34 feet big screen curving around the front of the room and equipped with a 7.1-channel surround-sound system that includes two huge subwoofers built right into the floor. There are 50 Schwinn stationary bikes in the room and the instructor would be on a bike at the front left side of the room, wearing an amplified headset to give user instructions and encouragement. Beyond that, each Schwinn stationary bike has an individual console that allows the user to adjust speed, resistance, and power after every ride, user’s progress will be uploaded to their individual online account automatically from class-to-class. Instructors can provide help and encouragement to surpass user’s fitness goals base on their training record.

“A full sensory workout can create a heightened sense of anticipation as participants “ride” through fantastic landscapes like outer space or dream-like scenarios. By suspending belief, people are thinking less about the workout, as they push themselves further through the experience.”

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Music Reactive Visuals

Even the studio uses the IMAX technology, they are not delivering a real movie to the user. The user won’t be watching a real movie like Star war, X-man, Superman or The Jungle Book while they are exercising. Instead of delivering a real movie, the ImaxShift® used a series of short video segments which had been handcrafted by each individual instructor. For instance, an experience allows the user to soar over the coasts of Hawaii; an experiences allows the user to pedal to the beat with music reactive visuals, etc. More importantly, each class is different and unique, each short video segment would only be played once. The user will never see the same video segment twice and they will have a completely new acoustic and optic experiences that perfectly complements the workout every time!

IMAXShift® is an undoubted successful entertainment and experience design. Although they only provide cycling activity at present, its still open up a range of new option of a future fitness and encourage lots of young adults to try this immersive workout experience. With an IMAX technology and unique experiences with IMAXShift®, exercise has become more engaged and more interesting. More and more young adults and adults would like to try IMAXShift® and continues to IMAXShift® to workout. A record show some studios have also begun incorporating immersive experiences have seen as much as a 25% increase in attendance. Clearly, there has been a growing consumer demand for more engaging exercise experiences, and immersive fitness is meeting it. I am looking forward to having a studio like this in Australia!


References:
  1. MAXShift 2016, The experience, IMAX Corporation, viewed 20 August 2016, < https://imaxshift.com/ >.
  2. CBS News 2016, IMAX takes supersized experience to fitness industry, News Article, CBS Interactive Inc, viewed 20 August 2016, <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/imax-takes-supersized-experience-to-fitness-industry-indoor-cycling-studio/>.
  3. Alton, E. 2016, Could Immersive Fitness Be the Cure for Obesity?, News Article, Entertainment Designer, viewed 20 August 2016, <http://entertainmentdesigner.com/news/experiences/could-immersive-fitness-be-the-cure-for-obesity/>.
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