Xbox has recently launched a new interactive fitness app called Xbox Fitness, designed to motivate users to work out with celebrity personal trainers.
Xbox Fitness, the new Xbox One app, is a welcome surprise from Xbox and will no doubt find fans among home fitness enthusiasts and anyone looking for an intense, motivational full body workout with a celebrity trainer.
The new fitness app uses Kinect technology to monitor users’ movements as they exercise, and also to map their muscles and measure their heart rate. The interactive app can detect the movements of the whole body and produce the body shape on the TV screen. It gives instant personalized feedback to the user, commenting on his or her performance and offering workout tips. The app can also deliver personalized fitness program recommendations based on the user’s workout history.
The new application allows you to turn on the console, enter your age, height and weight, and then simply choose one of the Xbox Fitness workouts from one of the celebrity trainers. The workout sessions range from 10 to 60 minutes in length and the fitness trainers include Tracy Anderson, famous for her Metamorphosis program and for training Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, Shaun T, creator of the extreme fitness program Insanity, Jillian Michaels, who helps the contestants on The Biggest Loser get back into shape, and Tony Horton, the creator of a number of popular fitness programs, including P90X, which combines martial arts and yoga.
The fitness videos available through Xbox Fitness include Insanity, BeachBody, P90X, Ripped in 30, Metamorphosis, and many others. The videos cover a wide range of skill requirements and fitness levels, and have varying equipment demands. They play alongside a screen that displays the user’s muscle tension, movement, and other relevant information using the Kinect. Users are scored based on their performance and can compare their high scores to those of their friends.
Xbox Fitness gives users access to a variety of workout routines, ranging from standard cardio workouts and kickboxing to licensed content with celebrity trainers and fitness instructors. The Kinect plays the videos and turns your exercise routine into a video game by accurately reading your movements and scoring your performance and technique. High scorers earn medals and achievements and there is a "challenge" system incorporated in the app that pops up at different times during your workout and gives you a score to beat based on your age group, increasing the motivation factor.
The feedback function will also tell you which parts of the workout you did particularly badly, so you can work on improving them during your next session. This allows users to work out at home without worrying that they are not doing the exercises properly because they don’t have an instructor there in person to guide them.
Kinect technology not only provides feedback on performance, but can also read your heart rate without a monitor, provide muscle mapping, and track your movements with an energy meter. Calorie count is also included and can be checked on at any time during the workout. The energy meter will let you know when your workout could be better by turning yellow and, if your movements, rhythm, or intensity are off, the meter will turn red and you will get commentary on the screen telling you what you can do to improve your performance. The muscle mapping function detects which muscles are most engaged and measures your exertion level, while the pulse function reads your heart rate from up to 10 feet away by detecting micro-fluctuations in your skin.
The Xbox Fitness interactive app can be downloaded for free. Unlimited access to the service is available only to Xbox Live Gold membership subscribers through December 2014.