(Cross-posted from the Google Enterprise Blog)
Editor’s note: From time to time we like to showcase how our customers are building fun and innovative products with Google Maps. Colleen Logan, VP of Marketing for Icon Health & Fitness, explains how a Google Maps API Premier powered treadmill helps exercisers reach personal fitness goals.
Most people use Google Maps for reasons of pure function: Where is that new restaurant? How do I get there? How long will it take? We thought Google Maps could be used for an entirely different purpose – as entertainment while working out on the NordicTrack home fitness equipment.
People buy fitness equipment for a range of reasons – train for a race, lose weight or simply stay in shape – but a universal challenge for most is staying motivated and finding the time to exercise. In order to reach their goals, more people are turning to technology for time-saving, motivating exercise. We thought the visuals provided by Google Maps, combined with our fitness products and iFit website might be so compelling, consumers would have more fun and stay on track. Even if the only time you can squeeze in exercise is in the evenings when kids are asleep in or in the early, snowy mornings of winter before a long day at work, the iFit exercise equipment can bring the experience of exercising on varied terrain into your home.
For example, if you wanted to experience a run through San Francisco’s hilly terrain, you can go to the iFit website and draw a running route on Google Maps. When you get on one of our treadmills, such as the NordicTrack Elite 9500 Pro, the treadmill pulls up Google Maps on the screen with the newly drawn running route. The treadmill mimics the incline of the real world route you are running, thanks to the elevation service of the Google Maps API. The runner experiences a real life running route by seeing the runner’s location move about Google Maps with Street View images flying by a she reaches new personal records.