In some form, I think it is a sign of things to come. Compact, high-tech, simple-to-use exercise equipment for the home -- introducing Nintendo's Wii Fit:
Step onto the Wii Balance Board and into a fun way to get fit.Here's a video demonstrating how it works:
- Control on-screen action with your movements on the balance board as you work your way through a variety of challenges aimed at getting you off the couch and into the action. Check your Body Mass Index (BMI), see your Wii Fit Age and keep tabs on your daily progress towards a more fit for you.
- Get fit with more than 40 activities and exercises, including strength training, aerobics, yoga and balance games. Whether you're doing a yoga pose or snowboarding down a slalom course, there's an activity for everyone.
- Challenge your family and friends to get in shape! Create your own personal profile and set goals, test your balance, track your progress with daily workouts and unlock new exercises and activities.
One thing that impresses me the most about this is how clever an idea it is to take four highly-sensitive, fast-reacting pressure switches and some good algorithms and integrate them into a compact exercise machine. I can't wait to see what other games and exercise programs they come out with for this thing.
Three neat aspects of the Wii Fit include:
1) It takes up much less space than almost any other exercise equipment you might buy. (It's something even the folks at Unclutterer might approve.)
2) It's interactive and makes exercise entertaining.
3) It automatically keeps a record of your exercise goals and tracks your progress of you.
Chris Kohler of Wired reviews the Wii Fit and notes two improvements he'd like to see:
1) I wish you could turn down the music in Wii Fit so I can just play my own during the whole workout. I'd mute the sound, but you have to be able to hear the trainer tell you when to move.I'm sure many will agree with him on this and that this is something future games for the Wiii Fit will probably take care of. Other than that he seems to like it.
2) This is supposed to be a convenient way for me to get exercise in the privacy of my own home, right? So why do I have to spend an entire hour with the thing just to get 30 minutes of aerobics? Why can't Wii Fit string together a series of exercises for me, without all the chit-chat from the announcer, without me having to pick up and put down the Wiimote constantly to cycle through screens?
Read more on the Wii Fit here.
The Wii Fit goes on sale in the US in May. You can pre-order your's on Amazon for $89.99