Now that we’ve discussed connecting the brain and body through interactive multisensory fitness, let’s look at some of the key players offering interactive multisensory fitness equipment and programming. They’re currently being used for a range of applications including functional and cardio fitness, high intensity interval training (HIIT), sports training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, sensory training, active brain training, and action based learning.
SMARTfit Inc. Their SMART (Sensory Motor Activity Reaction Training) systems and programming are unique in that they engage groups and individuals in real live play, hitting interactive targets of different colors, shapes, letters, numbers, symbols and sounds with hands, feet, medicine balls, most sports balls and more. The different targets also provide the basis for active brain games and action based learning. Systems include programming for a wide range of applications for all ages and abilities.
Makoto Neuroplastic Technology: The Makoto Arena surrounds users with interactive targets on three towers, challenging users with auditory and visual cues to hit the targets in a 360 degree multiplanar fitness, sensory, rehab and sports training experience.
Dance Dance Revolution Classroom Edition – In this group version of the original DDR electronic dance game, players interactively respond to the beat and rhythm of popular songs and visual on-screen arrows.
Expresso Bikes – These interactive bikes steer, shift, change gears, and vary pedal resistance on hills as the virtual landscape in front of them changes. Users can also race against their own previously recorded “ghost,” results, and compete online.
Nexersys – Nexersys provides full body interactive training with a virtual “sparring partner”, which challenges the user to correctly strike one of seven pads in a predetermined amount of time, as if he were boxing against an opponent.
What makes these systems interactive and different from virtual experiences? Advantage Sport and Fitness, a successful east coast fitness dealer that’s been an industry leader in this area, defines interactive this way: “An ‘interactive’ piece of fitness equipment implies there is input from a user that is reciprocated through the machine’s response. In other words, it’s a two-way street. Not only will the machine respond to your input, but will reciprocate with input of its own.” This versus a “reactive” machine that “stops after the input of a user. You may be able to change your resistance, but the machine simply responds to this command, and does not reciprocate with any input back to you.” “The goal of an interactive product is to fully immerse you in the experience of the workout.”
If you’re looking for a truly interactive brain and body training and learning experience, contact your local fitness facility, school, or one of these companies.