In an international debut, Italy-based Technogym will rollout its new Excite line of cardiovascular equipment at the IHRSA trade show in San Francisco, showcasing what the company calls the line's stimulation of a user's senses, including sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste.
"Since cardio is recognized as a boring activity, we are involving the senses in order to create a full experience for the club member," Franco Cicognani, Technogym's spokesman, told SNEWS from Italy. "We want the Excite multisensorial experience to be a complete experience activating all of the senses, including smell (exclusive to us in the industry) and the 'taste of Wellness' represented by the emotions arising from this 'Exciting' training."
The debut, slated for 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the Technogym show booth, will initially include commercial equipment -- five treadmills, five recumbent bicycles and five upright bicycles -- but Cicognani said the company may consider downsizing the equipment and using the same concepts in consumer versions.
You can view the company's promo by going to www.excite-line.com, which leads viewers through a teaser with music about the company's marketing of the product. Aside from the five senses, the company then says the line will stimulate a sixth sense too, which it says is a club operator's business sense. "Listen to your sixth sense," the website says, "it's telling you about Excite."
Here is how the company says the five senses will be stimulated:
Sight -- All 15 pieces include integrated LCD touch-screen technology screens, which it calls "Wellness TV," which can be used to help workout time pass more quickly by watching television or listening to the radio. The equipment's design coordinates with the company's Selection strength line.
Touch -- So-called "fast-track control" is a new mechanism, much like a small joystick, that can be used to adjust speed and incline. The company also says the materials used are designed to be more pleasant feeling, soft and sculpted.
Smell -- Using a fan with aroma diffusion, natural scents will come from the machines' fans during use, "enveloping users in pleasant sensations reminiscent of running along the beach or walking in the woods or a citrus grove." The company also says the surfaces and materials used are lightly scented.
Hearing -- The equipment incorporates not only radio, but also what it calls "quiet equipment," allowing the user to choose either "a moment of tranquility" or music while working out.
Taste -- Holders incorporated into the equipment allow a user to keep fruit, drinks and other snacks handy during a workout.
Technogym has been doing testing and select previews in Europe since October, Cicognani said, but the IHRSA show will be the first time the entire equipment line will be shown at a public event.
SNEWS View: First of all, we applaud Technogym for pushing the envelope when it comes not only to product features, but also to marketing. We have often advocated for a company to be bold. Well, Technogym is being, um, bold. We haven't seen the product yet firsthand so our only opinions are based on seeing really Euro-influenced marketing in pictures, online and in emailed information. The integrated TV screen looks pretty dang cool and allows a very clean and slick look. But this whole smell and touch thing is just really, um, out there. What about someone with allergies? I guess we'll just have to see it and get reaction from club owners at the show before passing judgment.