If you have ever imagined doing a yoga pose in the forest or Zumba in the desert, soon you will be able to – in a specially designed studio in Pimlico.
The new 360 fully immersive technology promises to change the face of fitness classes is set to debut next month at the Queen Mother Sports Centre.
Future studios, a specially designed space developed by Flareform, will bring workouts to life with a sensory light and sound experience, all tailored to the moment and controlled from an iPad at the touch of a button.
Creator Joe Robinson said he wanted to create something fresh that would make exercising more engaging, while still preserving the sense of community in a class.
“We wanted to make spaces better and more engaging and to bring arts into activity, almost like a theatre, entertainment.” he told WT. “
The new project mapping will be used for a variety of classes, from meditation and sensory sessions to body combat, and is a first of its kind in the UK.
Robinson, who’s company has previously used the concept in retail for shopping experiences, explained how the idea came about: “It was borne out of the mantra of more people, more active, more often. We were doing a talk about, if I was to create the most beautiful box I have ever seen, and it really was the most beautiful box you’ve ever seen. I was going to charge maybe £25 a month to look into this box. It was, how do we change the box? Ho we engage? How do I make you want to keep going back to that same space to see something different, to see something new?
“It’s for everybody. At the touch of a button so that you’re in a really relaxing space. Eventually we want to work with a bigger demographic.”
The project has been three years in the making. Before it was taken up by Everyone Active, the technology was first tested in a mock up studio hidden at the back of an old nail bar in Leeds.
“We were quite secretive to start with.” he says. “We didn’t want anybody to copy us or even to see it. We just wanted to see if it would work, and it became apparent it was really special and then we carried on setting scenes and developing it over the next couple of years.”
Andy Davison, area contract manager at Everyone Active which manages the Queen Mother Sports Centre on behalf of Westminster City Council, said: “We are always looking for new ways to compete in the area and the central location of Queen Mother Sports Centre lends itself to showcasing his new technology.
“We have a fantastic relationship with Flareform and we’re privileged they’ve chosen to launch this innovative technology at our site. We’re looking forward to wowing our members – giving them an amplified workout experience that will take their fitness class experience to the next level.”
The studio will be trialled for six months, when the leisure operator will decide whether to roll the scheme out nationally. Meanwhile, Flareform are in talks to bring the concept to the rest of Europe.
Robinson says he wants to use his solution to create a sense of community, with the instructor still very much at the centre of classes despite the displays.
He said: “We’ll never take away the instructor. It’s certainly not a virtual class. It’s giving them the tools to deliver the best classes.
“We want to create communities wherever we can. People stay in activities longer if they are part of a community.
“We just want everyone to enjoy it.”
Future Studio can be booked at Queen Mother Sports Centre now and launches on April 24.
Main image: Future studios/Everyone Active.