Treadmills, while effective, get very boring very quickly. So we’re always looking for ways to make running more fun. That’s the main reason we’re excited to try out BitGym, a new project on Kickstarter.
First off, what is it? BitGym is an app for your smartphone or tablet (both iOS and Android compatible) that displays 3D “tours” of beautiful places to run. Not only can you run the winding streets of European cities without careening into tourists, you can also run through the scenic Swiss Alps without buying an expensive plane ticket. Here’s a preview of “where” you can run:
That’s all well and good. But what really made this app stand out is that it uses the front-facing camera on your device to match the pace of the digital tour to your actual running pace. So as you change your speed or resistance on the treadmill or elliptical, the tour will speed up or slow down to match you. That should go a long way to making this feel like a more realistic experience.
The other feature that has us hooked is the fact that you can workout with your friends, even if they don’t belong to your gym or live in the same city! By running the chat option (if your gym has WiFi or your tablet has a data plan), you can chat with your friends while you workout—both running the same tour. If you’re working out at a crowded gym, we might suggest using your headphones and the listen-only feature so you don’t get dirty looks from everyone else who’s currently working out.
We’re a little bit worried that watching this on your device only won’t really be that immersive of an experience—especially if you’re using your phone or iPad mini. But for anyone who works out at home, you can use the app on your TV as well by connecting it with an HDMI cable, Chromecast, or Apple TV. We’re guessing that will make the trail runs more realistic, plus you’ll be able to talk to your friends all you want.
Take a look at the video for the complete details.
We’ll be excited to test out the app later this fall. Until then, check out our favorite workout apps, one that will help you find the perfect yoga class, and another that’s changing the way we workout at home.
Would you try BitGym? Why or why not? Then tell us about your favorite workout app in the comments!