I currently own a NordicTrack T14 treadmill. What makes this treadmill so special is its iFit Live system. The iFit live system allows a route to be plotted online through google maps that is then sent to the treadmill. So any inclines that appear on the plotted route are automatically changed by the treadmill. It basically allows you to practice running the inclines of any given route.
This really is a nice system, you can even hook up a TV and navigate to the iFit website and it will display the google street view of your current location. However after using this treadmill for a while I can see a number of areas it could be improved to make a truly great treadmill.
The Smart Treadmill as I envisage it would be controlled by an iPad this is for a number of reasons.
1. Reduced cost for developing the console. The consoles are usually terrible on low to mid level treadmills. With the high end treadmills simply gaining features such as television. Utilising an iPad for a console would give great access to technology.
2. Unique features of the iPad, there is already a music player built in, movies built in, web browser and a never ending list of applications.
3. Brilliant touch screen technology. Lets face it Apple’s touch screens are just beautiful compared to the competitors.
4. New revenue streams for the manufacturer. Currently the manufacturer creates the treadmill then sells it. Revenue stream over. However make the iPad the console and you have now created a market place. A market place where you can sell workout packs, map packs and a whole host of other products that could produce revenue years after the sale of the treadmill.
5. Accessibility. It is simply not financially viable for current manufacturers to create an accessible treadmill for the blind. Make a treadmill that has an iPad for a console and this problem is solved. With VoiceOver built into the iPad all information that is on the screen can be read out. How amazing would that be an accessible treadmill!
I would really love this treadmill to exist. The feature list could be huge, with an easy updateable system this feature list can be expanded over time.
Plotting routes via a mapping system would be incredibly easy with the iPad controlling the treadmill. Also utilising a system like google street view would also be easy. Hell without the need to create an embedded control system the development time would be far quicker.
So please treadmill manufactures make this treadmill! Oh and if you do please send me one for suggesting it in the first place!