Future tech thoughts: e-sports for fitness

A month ago I purchased a smart trainer for my bike. I liked the idea of having an indoor activity that would link up to some cool apps to track and monitor my fitness progress.

I like it. I go to the garage early in the morning, spin up for an hour, sweat loads and come out of it feeling energised and ready for the day.

I’ve also been testing some of the main smart trainer apps on the market (Zwift, TrainerRoad, Rouvy, FulGaz & The SufferFest to name a few). Perhaps I’ll write a separate blog on those as they range in quality and price.

Zwift + Smart Trainer

This got me thinking, what does the future of smart training look like and how do they make money from it?

We all know gaming e-sports is huge with many tournaments having multi million dollar prizes (The record is for DOTA2 at $24.6 million). e-sports isn’t a new term, it’s been growing at crazy rates for years and will only keep growing.

Sponsors throw money at these tournaments, some tournaments are like Olympic games with huge stadiums! It really is exciting but why stop at gaming?

DOTA 2 Tournament

There’s huge potential for other indoor training types to become e-sports. Ultra marathons via your treadmill. Rowing championships via your machine in the basement.

You could apply the same gaming formula to loads of low-cost smart products that are sweeping the market. It just takes some vision and lot’s of funding.

Zwift + Treadmill

My smart trainer has the ability for me to ride alongside with thousands of other cyclists all over the world and while there are some prize based online tournaments now… in the future this could be worth billions.

We’re likely to see a huge surge in smart fitness products in the coming years. We’ll probably see ordinary products like trainers get smarter.

Anything you can do at home or without any professional gym setting could be weaponised into a smart product.

I really believe that smart tournaments will attract huge sponsors and million dollar prizes for those who take part.

Wattbike Atom via Bike Radar.

Imagine the scene. A stage with 10 smart trainers with Manic Street Preacher level stadium rock lights beaming down onto them. The gun goes and we’re off, ten work class cyclists race to the finish line while users at home try to keep up.

The victor stands on the stage panting while holding a check for $40million, cut to Cat Deeley who’s live with the person who finished top of the home racers via video link. “Congratulations, you’ve also won a million dollars”. Cut to commercials.

So what do we call it. Is it e-sports or is it f-sports, f for fitness. Perhaps s-sports for smart. One way or another I believe we’ll be reading lots more about smart tournaments in 2019 onwards.

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