If you happen to be in Manila, perhaps you want to check out the Nike LED running track. What is this, you ask? It is a 200 metre track in the centre of Manila. It is in the shape of a Nike shoe imprint, which essentially allows you to run in a figure eight. But the coolest part about it? It is lined with LED screens. The screens are there to give you the impression that you’re running against someone. In an attempt to push you harder and make you run farther and faster. Its an interesting concept.
How it works is that you attach some kind of censor to your shoe. You select an avatar and then run one lap around the track. From there, the avatar runs along side you. The faster and farther you run, the larger the avatar gets. Which hopefully pushes you to kick it up a notch. Why is this so cool? Well, technology aside, it’s giving you a running partner essentially. How many times have you heard people complain that they don’t want to work out because they don’t have someone to do it with? They need an accountability partner to get them going. And now you don’t need a physical person to do this with you.
Also, think about it from the perspective of training. This avatar is always going to be just a few seconds faster than you are. Doesn’t that motivate you to want to do a little bit better? I am the type of person who really needs a push when it comes to exercising. Not because I don’t love working out, but because I just need a little motivating. I have spent the last several months boxing. I’m finding that I am more motivated to do a better job when I see others around me succeeding. It raises the bar for me a bit. Encourages me to go a bit harder and push myself. So I can see that happening with these avatars.
Maybe the avatar pushes you to go a little bit farther every day this week. And maybe next week it pushes you to go faster. These kinds of small gains daily could add up to big gains in the long run. What’s even cooler is that the sensors track your time during your first lap. So that’s what your avatar is running during your second lap. Can you keep up with it, or did you give it your all during that first lap? Once you beat your best time, it will run at that pace. Constantly giving you the ability to perform a little bit better.
I love how technology is being used to make us healthier by simply pushing us to be our best selves. Instead of an app to track calories or to measure your exercises, this is giving you a reason to workout. A training partner essentially. I don’t know anything more motivating than a little healthy competition. And on top of that, it is extremely cool. Maybe we will start to see these in other parts of the world soon.