As at-home exercise technology becomes more sophisticated, there are cybersecurity implications to consider.
Being alive in the digital age means that we get to experience life in ways not possible previously. No doubt technology has added some concerns to our lives such as distraction, overuse, privacy and security. But in many other ways technology has made our lives more fun, extra entertaining and much easier.
Using technology is often a stagnant activity—one where you sit behind a computer screen and the most movement you engage in happens from the wrist down. But technology can also get us moving and make us healthier. Augmented reality and virtual reality take us into imagined worlds where we have to move to discover what we can see and experience. Gaming often includes physical movement. Countless exercise apps provide a way to monitor and record our exercise activities and interact with others as part of the motivation to do more.
As a society, we have demonstrated an appetite for new exercise experiences. The health tech community has taken notice and is bringing consumers high-end gym experiences in the home, thanks to screens and the ubiquity of internet connectivity. Some of the latest offerings include cycling classes with Peloton, a range of gym workouts with Mirror and incline training from Nordic Track.
What makes these health innovations different from exercise machines of past? The programs are broadcast widely with users all over the world, and you can even link up with friends who take the same classes. The experience is much more engaging than using an exercise machine from the not-so-distant past.
It’s an escape to virtually cycle the Tour de France route, join a spin class with a world-famous instructor, run or walk along the beach in Hawaii, or hike the Swiss Alps from the comfort of your home or office. But there are also privacy implications to consider.
Each of these new connected exercise machines has a camera. That camera works like the camera on your phone, tablet and computer. And just as with those cameras, you should ensure that when you are not using the equipment (or even when you are) you have a camera cover in place. You never know who may be watching you through your technology, and you can proactively protect your privacy while you are getting one of the coolest workouts of your life.
While you can connect with others through these systems and other exercise-related apps, also remember to think before you post. Earlier this year actor Hugh Jackman was so impressed with his day’s accomplishment on his Peloton that he posted a picture of it on Instagram—that included his username. Yes, he realized later what he did, removed the original post and changed his username.
Internet connectivity and capabilities built into exercise equipment are allowing users to have the experience of a luxury gym or a trip around the world from the privacy of their own home. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get moving with technology—but cover your camera!
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