What is the metaverse? The term has multiple meanings: beyond, behind, and even transformative. But within the context of digital marketing we’re concerned only with the first definition.
This virtual world which sits behind our own isn’t that different, either. You can attend meetings, play games, go shopping and even buy items or services of interest.
It’s no surprise then that this technology has caught the attention of businesses worldwide – each keen to stake out their claim of digital real estate before their competitors.
How does the metaverse work?
Ask ‘what is the metaverse?’ and you’ll be frustrated. That’s because it’s a work in progress. It’s not a singular entity either. Rather, it’s a collection of applications spanning multiple digital ecosystems like Android and Apple.
There are two access routes:
- Augmented Reality (AR) which imposes itself over the real world via a filter – for example, a smartphone
- Virtual Reality (VR) a fully immersive environment, albeit digital, that completely covers your vision
Which proves to be the most popular remains to be seen.
Are gym brands using the metaverse?
The short answer is yes. The slightly longer one is (as mentioned) we don’t know what the metaverse is yet. This means its in a state of flux.
What is the metaverse used for in the world of fitness? Here are some examples of brands breaking out into new digital territories.
Les Mills BODYCOMBAT VR ™
BODYCOMBAT VR ™ pays testament to Less Mills’ pioneering spirit. With thousands of users participating monthly workouts require little more than a headset – that, of course, and high doses of energy and motivation.
The app sees users perform a range of combat moves which each accrue points. But this feature hasn’t been tagged on as a novelty to garner attention. Apart from preventing monotony – which leads to disengagement – points are designed to make users fitter and stronger.
Roam 149 Reactive Hill Training
Hands up if you like looking at your reflection while on a treadmill. Very few do which is why Sid Raman – the owner of Roam 149 – replaced mirrors with television screens simulating various landscapes, including the moon (yes, really), hiking trails, and marathon courses.
Hardly immersive, these ‘experiences’ are a matter of intense debate. What is the metaverse? Is it a roam versafit pod, a VR experience delivered courtesy of a headset, or a combination of all these things?
As Raman put it in an interview with the Daily Beast…
“Right now, the metaverse is like the Wild West. You claim a piece of land, you put a fence around it, and you call it whatever you want. So we’re the ‘metaverse gym,’ and I’m proud to say that we might have a concept that truly marries what the metaverse is meant to be”
MetaGym full-body workouts
No controllers are needed to join a full body workout – and there’s no need to leave the house. All that’s required is a camera. Once ready, choose your preferred lobby, scan the QR code to sync, and you’re ready to work out.
The MetaGym is 100% virtual. This proves its possible to create a fitness brand without the need for expensive facilities. In time this might encourage more entrants – increasing competition and forcing brands to incorporate the metaverse into their service offerings.
The metaverse is a work in progress. Until its edges clarify smaller brands will probably take a cautious approach, watching from the sideliners while their wealthier competitors invest and experiment – trying to nail a formula that works.
What is the metaverse going to look like? This will depend on technological development, investment in that technology and to what degree – and, of course, uptake. Ultimately the metaverse will only work if it delivers value to its target market.
The metaverse is:
- Pandemic proof – allowing gyms to generate income during periods of adversity
- Universal – anyone can use it anywhere, provided they have the right equipment
- Private – removing the issue of body image which might otherwise deter people
If you’re a small gym brand with a limited budget you could still invest in a virtual reality room or immersive technology – similar to the reactive hill technology mentioned earlier in this blog.
Offer something different and your brand will stand out, demonstrating to customers it’s at the cutting edge of technology and giving them one more reason to sign up as members.
Speak to one of our digital marketing experts today. Book your free consultation today or call 01628 601713.