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Title:
FITNESS STUDIO INSTRUCTIONAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/189113
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fitness studio instruction management system and method is provided. The system comprises: a plurality of fitness studios, each including a plurality of fitness stations for performing a plurality of different exercises, wherein the exercises for each fitness station are remotely configurable; and a central server, configured to update instructions relating to the exercises at each of the plurality of fitness studios. Each fitness station includes a computing device coupled to a display screen, the computing device configured to request fitness instructions relating to at least one exercise of the fitness station from the central server, and display the fitness instructions on the screen. The central server is configured to provide different fitness instructions to different fitness stations, and update the fitness stations by providing different fitness instructions in response to requests for fitness instructions from the computing devices at different points of time.

Inventors:
WEST TIM (AU)
NEDVED DAVID (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2021/050272
Publication Date:
September 30, 2021
Filing Date:
March 26, 2021
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
UBX IP LTD (GB)
WEST TIM (AU)
International Classes:
A63B71/06; A63B24/00
Foreign References:
US8047965B22011-11-01
US20160121162A12016-05-05
US10486026B22019-11-26
US9844699B22017-12-19
US9292935B22016-03-22
US20180353812A12018-12-13
US6749537B12004-06-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KINGS PATENT & TRADE MARKS ATTORNEYS (AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A fitness studio instruction management system comprising: a plurality of fitness studios, each including a plurality of fitness stations for performing a plurality of different exercises, wherein the exercises for each fitness station are remotely configurable; and a central server, configured to update instructions relating to the exercises at each of the plurality of fitness studios, wherein each fitness station includes a computing device coupled to a display screen, the computing device configured to request fitness instructions relating to at least one exercise of the fitness station from the central server, and display the fitness instructions on the screen, and wherein the central server is configured to provide different fitness instructions to different fitness stations, and update the fitness stations by providing different fitness instructions in response to requests for fitness instructions from the computing devices at different points of time.

2. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 1 , wherein each fitness station in a studio is associated with a fitness station identifier.

3. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 2, wherein the fitness station identifiers are unique within each fitness studio, but common across different studios.

4. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 3, wherein the fitness station identifiers are sequentially numbered within each studio.

5. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 2, wherein the fitness instructions are requested from the central server at least in part according to the fitness station identifier or a derivative thereof.

6. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 5, wherein the fitness instructions are requested using a URL which includes the fitness station identifier, or is associated with the fitness station identifier.

7. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 1 , wherein the computing device is configured to receive local sensor data, and overlay the sensor data over the fitness instructions, such that the display screen displays both the remotely originating fitness instructions and the local sensor data.

8. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 7, wherein the sensor data includes personal sensor data, such as heart rate.

9. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 7, wherein the system is configured to identify persons at the fitness stations, and associated the sensor data with the person.

10. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 9, wherein the person is identified using artificial intelligence (Al) or computer vision, e.g. facial recognition.

11 . The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 7, wherein the computing device includes a local wireless interface, enabling the computing device to communicate wirelessly with local sensors, and a remote data interface, enabling the computing device to communicate with the server.

12. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 7, wherein the fitness instructions include a template, defining a location for display of the sensor data and the fitness instructions for display on the display screen.

13. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 1 , wherein the computing device is configured to request fitness instructions periodically, and between requests repeat the fitness instructions.

14. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 1 , wherein at least a subset of the fitness stations include equipment for performing an associated exercise.

15. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 1 , wherein each fitness station in a studio is associated with a fitness station layout, the fitness station layout including details of the equipment at that station, and wherein at least a subset of the plurality of fitness studios include fitness stations having common fitness station layouts.

16. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 1 , wherein the fitness instructions comprise an HTML page, with media, wherein the media includes images, graphics and/or video.

17. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 1 , wherein the fitness instructions include a plurality of exercises, wherein the exercises are performed sequentially.

18. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 1 , further including display stations, for displaying information, each display station including a computing device coupled to a display screen, the computing device configured to request display information from the central server, and display the display information on the display screen.

19. The fitness studio instruction management system of claim 1 , wherein the computing devices each include an associated memory, and are configured to automatically display data from the memory in case fitness instructions cannot be obtained from the server.

20. A fitness studio instruction management method comprising: configuring a plurality of fitness studios, each including a plurality of fitness stations for performing a plurality of different exercises, wherein the exercises for each fitness station are remotely configurable; and updating, by a central server, instructions relating to the exercises at each of the plurality of fitness studios, wherein each fitness station includes a computing device coupled to a display screen, the computing device configured to request fitness instructions relating to at least one exercise of the fitness station from the central server, and display the fitness instructions on the screen, and wherein the central server is configured to update the fitness stations by providing different fitness instructions in response to requests for fitness instructions from the computing devices at different points of time.

Description:
FITNESS STUDIO INSTRUCTIONAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to fitness studios, such as gyms, and in particular to instructional management systems for fitness stations at fitness studios.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] It is well understood that varying fitness routines is beneficial in keeping training interesting and improving the effectiveness of training. As such, there exists fitness studios that provide curated workouts that vary daily.

[0003] A problem with such prior art fitness studios is that management of the curated workouts is complex, particularly across a number of studios.

[0004] One such system for remote configuration and operation of fitness studios is described in US Patent Application Publication No. US 2016/0121162. In this case, each fitness studio has a “studio computer” to which periodically retrieved studio information for that studio is communicated, and each exercise station at that studio is manually configured according to the received data.

[0005] In short, each studio goes through a reconfiguration, typically on a daily basis, where fitness equipment is physically distributed throughout the studio (according to the retrieved studio information) and where a studio operator downloads studio-specific fitness information into a studio database, where it can be modified prior to being communicated to the studio displays.

[0006] Such process is clearly very labour intensive, and is also prone to human error. If exercise equipment is mistakenly positioned, or the fitness information is incorrectly modified, the curated workouts will not properly function, requiring the studio to be reconfigured correctly prior to use.

[0007] A further problem with such systems is that they appear generic, and are thus not enticing to people training.

[0008] As such, there is clearly a need for an improved fitness studio instructional management methods and systems.

[0009] It will be clearly understood that, if a prior art publication is referred to herein, this reference does not constitute an admission that the publication forms part of the common general knowledge in the art in Australia or in any other country.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0010] The present invention is directed to fitness studio instruction management methods and systems, which may at least partially overcome at least one of the abovementioned disadvantages or provide the consumer with a useful or commercial choice.

[0011] With the foregoing in view, the present invention in one form, resides broadly in a fitness studio instruction management system comprising: a plurality of fitness studios, each including a plurality of fitness stations for performing a plurality of different exercises, wherein the exercises for each fitness station may be updated; and a central server, configured to update instructions relating to the exercises at each of the plurality of fitness studios, wherein each fitness station includes a computing device coupled to a display screen, the computing device configured to request fitness instructions relating to at least one exercise of the fitness station from the central server, and display the fitness instructions on the screen, and wherein the central server is configured to provide different fitness instructions to different fitness stations, and update the fitness stations by providing different fitness instructions in response to requests for fitness instructions from the computing devices at different points of time.

[0012] Advantageously, the system provides a simple and efficient way to update fitness stations, that does not require fitness studios to have a local staff member to update the stations, and does not require any local computer networks or servers at each fitness studio, in contrast to the system described in US Patent Application Publication No. US 2016/0121162.

[0013] Furthermore, the fitness stations are able to operate and be updated independently of other fitness stations in a fitness studio. As a result, if a particular fitness station or computing device in a fitness studio has a technical issue, this issue will not cause problems to other fitness stations in the studio, resulting in increased resilience.

[0014] Preferably, each fitness station requests fitness instructions independently of the other fitness stations.

[0015] Preferably, the computing device is configured to request fitness instructions from the central server each time the fitness instructions are displayed on the screen. This ensures that the fitness instructions are always updated according to the central server.

[0016] Alternatively, the computing device may automatically request fitness instructions periodically (e.g. every 10 minutes, hourly or daily). Between requests, the computing device may be configured to loop (repeat) the fitness instructions. By requesting fitness instructions with a short period the computing device is able to ensure that the instructions it displays are never old.

[0017] Preferably, at least a subset of the fitness stations include equipment for performing an associated exercise. One or more fitness stations may be configured without equipment (e.g. for exercises such as push-ups that do not require equipment).

[0018] Preferably, each fitness station in a studio is associated with a fitness station layout. The fitness station layout may include details of the equipment at that station.

[0019] Each fitness station in a studio may be associated with a fitness station identifier.

[0020] The fitness instructions may be requested from the central server at least in part according to the fitness station identifier. As such, the fitness station identifier may also comprise a routine identifier, for use when requesting a fitness routine (e.g. Fitness Routine 1 is performed on Fitness Station 1 , etc.).

[0021] The fitness instructions may be requested using a URL. The URL may include the fitness station identifier, or be associated with the fitness station identifier. As such, each computing device in a particular fitness studio may be associated with a different URL.

[0022] The fitness station identifiers may be unique per studio, but common across different studios. The fitness station identifiers may be numbered, e.g. from 1 to 12 for an arrangement with 12 fitness stations per studio. Similarly, each fitness station may be associated with a region identifier, either directly or indirectly. The use of regions may enable different programs to be provided per region, or even different languages.

[0023] Each fitness station identifier may be associated with a different fitness station layout. As an illustrative example, fitness station 1 may include a particular type of equipment regardless of what fitness studio it is located in.

[0024] The fitness instructions may comprise a HTML page, with media. The media may include images, graphics or video. The instructions may include text instructions. The instructions may update over time. [0025] The fitness instructions may include a plurality of exercises, wherein the exercises are to be performed sequentially.

[0026] The computing device may be configured to receive local sensor data, and overlay the sensor data over the fitness instructions, such that the display screen displays both the remotely originating fitness instructions and the local sensor data. The sensor data may include personal sensor data (e.g. heart rate) or equipment sensor data (e.g. equipment RPM, speed or number of repetitions), and the local data may be display at or near real-time.

[0027] The computing device may include a local wireless interface, enabling the computing device to communicate wirelessly with local sensors, and a remote data interface, enabling the computing device to communicate with the server.

[0028] The fitness instructions may include a template, defining a location for display of sensor data.

[0029] The system may be configured such that at least a subset of the equipment is fixed between updates. The system may be configured such that all of the equipment is fixed between updates.

[0030] The system may include display stations, for displaying information. Each display station may include a computing device coupled to a display screen, the computing device configured to request display information from the central server, and display the display information on the display screen. The display information may include in-club notices, score/leader boards, or the like and may in the form of a web-page.

[0031 ] The computing devices may be configured to display data from a memory in case fitness instructions cannot be obtained from the server. The memory may comprise a USB thumb drive coupled to the computing device, or a local memory of the computing device. The computing devices may be configured to automatically display content (e.g. video or webpages) from the memory (i.e. without manual user intervention or configuration).

[0032] Each fitness studio may include 12 discrete stations, wherein a fitness session comprises exercises on each of the 12 stations.

[0033] In another form, the invention resides broadly in a fitness studio instruction management method comprising: configuring a plurality of fitness studios, each including a plurality of fitness stations for performing a plurality of different exercises, wherein the exercises for each fitness station may be updated; and updating, by a central server, instructions relating to the exercises at each of the plurality of fitness studios, wherein each fitness station includes a computing device coupled to a display screen, the computing device configured to request fitness instructions relating to at least one exercise of the fitness station from the central server, and display the fitness instructions on the screen, and wherein the central server is configured to update the fitness stations by providing different fitness instructions in response to requests for fitness instructions from the computing devices at different points of time.

[0034] Any of the features described herein can be combined in any combination with any one or more of the other features described herein within the scope of the invention.

[0035] The reference to any prior art in this specification is not, and should not be taken as an acknowledgement or any form of suggestion that the prior art forms part of the common general knowledge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0001] Various embodiments of the invention will be described with reference to the following drawings, in which:

[0002] Figure 1 illustrates a schematic of a fitness studio instruction management system 100, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0003] Figure 2 illustrates a subset of the fitness studio instruction management system of Figure 1 , illustrating a single fitness studio in greater detail, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0004] Figure 3 illustrates a subset of a fitness studio, illustrating a single fitness station in more detail, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0005] Figure 4 illustrates a screenshot of an exemplary fitness instruction screen of the system of Figure 1 , according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0006] Figure 5 illustrates an exemplary interaction between a computing device and a central server of the system of Figure 1 , according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0007] Preferred features, embodiments and variations of the invention may be discerned from the following Detailed Description which provides sufficient information for those skilled in the art to perform the invention. The Detailed Description is not to be regarded as limiting the scope of the preceding Summary of the Invention in any way.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0036] Figure 1 illustrates a schematic of a fitness studio instruction management system 100, according to an embodiment of the present invention. The system 100 enables management of a plurality of fitness studios 105 (also referred to as gyms) in a cost-effective, customisable and efficient manner, while maintaining novelty and customer engagement. Figure 2 illustrates a subset of the fitness studio instruction management system 100, illustrating a single fitness studio 105 in greater detail, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0037] Each fitness studio 105 includes a plurality of stations 205, each station 205 comprising a screen 210, a computing device 215 coupled to the screen 210, and exercise equipment 220 provided in association with the screen 210. Each screen 210 is configured to display information relating to a fitness exercise to be performed using the equipment 220 that is provided in association with the screen 210. In particular, each screen 210 is configured to display instructions relating to use of the equipment 220, such as details of a particular exercise to be performed, a duration of the exercise, and imagery associated with the exercise, as outlined in further detail below.

[0038] While each fitness station 205 is schematically identical in Figure 2, the equipment 220 will vary between the stations 205, as will the display of the screens 210. In an exemplary configuration, each studio 105 includes twelve (12) fitness stations 205, such that persons training at the studio 105 perform exercises in each of the stations 205, in a particular sequence. The fitness studio 105 will generally also include 12 screens (one screen for each of the 12 stations 205) which will be mounted either to a ceiling, wall, or floor in a permanent or semi permanent fashion.

[0039] Typically, the fitness stations 205 will remain static (or nearly static), and the sequence of fitness stations will generally remain constant, with the exercises performed thereon changing. Such configuration is desirable as it does not require participants to learn a new flow between stations each time, which can cause confusion when participants are exhausted, and avoids the need to physically identify flows or patterns within a studio 105, e.g. by having staff moving signs or arrows.

[0040] Furthermore, while each fitness station 205 is illustrated with associated equipment, the skilled addressee will readily appreciate that one or more of the fitness stations 205 may be configured without any particular equipment. As an illustrative example, the exercise may comprise push-ups, where no particular equipment is required to perform the push-ups. Furthermore, as outlined in further detail below, a station may include different equipment, configured to be operated in sequence, or as alternatives to each other.

[0041] Each computing device 215 is preferably in the form of a stick personal computer (PC), mini PC or compact computing device, which is configured to provide input to the screen 210 in the form of video and/or other content for display on the screen 210. In particular, an output of the computing device 215, preferably in the form of an HDMI port or a Display Port, is coupled to an input port of the screen 210.

[0042] As such, each computing device 215 is specific to a particular fitness station 205, and is able to operate independently to other computing devices 215 of other fitness stations 205, and connects directly with the server 110. As such, a technical problem with one computing device 215 or fitness data will not affect other computing devices 215.

[0043] Figure 3 illustrates a subset of a fitness studio 205, illustrating a single fitness station 205 in more detail, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0044] The computing device 215 includes a remote wireless interface 305 coupled to a processor 310, a local wireless interface 315, a memory 320, a serial bus interface 325 and an output 330, all coupled to the processor 310.

[0045] The remote wireless interface 305 enables the computing device 215 to communicate with a remote server 110, which may form part of a cloud service. The remote wireless interface 305 is advantageously an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 interface that enables wireless communication with the remote server 105 through a local wireless router and the Internet. The interface 305 also allows for configuration of the devices wirelessly, upon initial installation. In particular, when the device first boots it creates a “hotspot” allowing the installer to simply connect to the hotspot, and then further configure the device (such as setup its network, etc). Such arrangement allows for simple, and rapid deployment of the system.

[0046] The computing device 215 retrieves content from the server 105 for display on the display screen, once rendered and processed, as outlined below. The content advantageously includes video and/or graphics, which are displayed together with text, to provide instructional content to person(s) 335 at the fitness station 205. The skilled addressee will, however, readily appreciate that any other suitable type of content may be used, including audio (e.g. a beep timer), and any combination of content types. The content may be provided in FlyperT ext Markup Language (FITML), or any other suitable format, which is retrieved using web-based protocols, such as HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and others, as outlined in further detail below.

[0047] As each computing device 215 retrieves the content directly from the server 105, which is remotely located, programs can not easily be modified by staff members of a fitness studio 105. This in turn increases consistency across fitness studios 105, and decreases the likelihood of problems caused by human error.

[0048] The local wireless interface 315 enables the computing device 215 to communicate wirelessly with local sensors 340, which may be associated with a person 335 or the equipment 220. The local wireless interface 315 is advantageously a Bluetooth or Bluetooth Low Energy interface that communicates directly with the local sensors 340.

[0049] The sensors 340 may include a heart-rate sensor, which is configured to provide a heart rate of the person to the computing device 215, either directly from the person (e.g. from a heart rate monitor worn by the person), or from the equipment 220 (e.g. from a heart rate sensor that is part of the equipment). Similarly, the sensors 340 may be configured to provide data from the equipment, such as number of repetitions, treadmill/rowing machine data, speed or and other suitable data or metric.

[0050] The processor 310 overlays the sensor data over the content from the server 110 to generate a single output that contains both the remotely originating content, and the local sensor data. As such, from the perspective of the person 335 doing the exercise, the screen 210 is customised based upon their work at the station, much like a local screen is on a local machine.

[0051] Multiple persons 335 may perform exercises at a studio simultaneously. In such case, the sensor data may include sensor data from multiple people, and may be presented in aggregated or individually. As an illustrative example, a total number of repetitions may be presented for all persons at the station. Alternatively, data may be presented in association with personal identifiers, such as usernames, to enable each person 335 to identify their own data.

[0052] As persons 335 are moving between different fitness stations 205, the sensor data and the computing devices may be dynamically paired. As such, the displays may dynamically update as users come and go from each fitness station. This in turn increases engagement as the display is not generic, but instead relates to that specific user’s activity. In some embodiments, the user’s activity may be compared to a previous user’s activity, e.g. in a leaderboard, to further increase engagement and motivation.

[0053] The sensor data may be associated with a user or not. In one embodiment, the sensor data from a plurality of fitness stations 205 is associated with the user to enable that user to monitor their activity in the studio 105 in an overall sense. Such data may be logged for later access by the user, e.g. using a smartphone app.

[0054] In some embodiments, computer vision or artificial intelligence may be used to identify which equipment is being used, and/or who is at a station or using equipment. In one embodiment, facial recognition may be used to identify persons. Such configuration alleviates the need for users to log onto a fitness station 205, or wear identification bracelets or other identification means, and provides an efficient means to ‘pair’ users to fitness stations 205 dynamically.

[0055] Similarly, computer vision or artificial intelligence may be used to identify what equipment is being used at a fitness station, such as a bike or a row machine, and update the instructions based thereon. This enables the screens to provide relevant and dynamic content according to an actual use of the studio, which is more engaging than generic, static content.

[0056] Alternatively or additionally, the persons may be identified using an RFID bracelet, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors, a smart watch, a fitness band, facial recognition, or any other suitable form of identification.

[0057] The screens 210 are configured such that they display a sequence of exercises that form an exercise routine. Each exercise routine may be about 3 minutes long and is associated with a single fitness station 205, and thus the equipment of the fitness station (if any). A full training session will generally comprise a plurality of such routines, performed at different fitness stations. As mentioned above, in one embodiment of the invention, 12 different fitness stations 205 are provided such that a workout comprises an exercise routine at each of the stations.

[0058] Figure 4 illustrates a screenshot 400 of an exemplary fitness instruction screen of the system 100, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0059] The screen includes a timing element 405, comprising a plurality of progress bars which are progressively highlighted to indicate a progress within a routine of the fitness station. In the example of Figure 4, three exercises are provided in sequence to form the routine, and the second exercise is illustrated as being in place (through coding of a second progress bar).

[0060] For each exercise, a timing element 410 and an exercise name element 415 are provided, together with a graphic or video 420 illustrating the exercise. Such configuration simply illustrates to the person(s) 335 what exercises are to be performed, how long each exercise lasts, and how to perform the exercise. This layout may change, depending on the configuration of the content. As an illustrative example, the exercise name may be omitted, or change each time a sequence changes.

[0061] A challenge element 425 illustrates a challenge for the user to set him or herself (such as see how many reps you can do in 30 seconds), and an aim element 430 sets an aim for the user in relation to the challenge (e.g. a number of reps to aim for).

[0062] In some embodiments, the aims are fixed defined according to the exercise and are thus specific to each fitness station. In other words, the number of repetitions may vary across fitness stations, according to the activity.

[0063] Furthermore, the aims may relate to sensor data, and include heart-rate, calorie, or other sensor-related goals. Similarly, the aims may include a number of repetitions, and the sensor data may count a number of repetitions. A

[0064] As outlined above, the person 335 may be automatically or semi-automatically identified, and the aim may be updated according to the person 335. Similarly, the exercises may be defined according to the person’s skill level. As an illustrative example, an exercise may be defined according to beginner, intermediate and advanced configurations, each potentially having different video or graphics, instructions and/or aims, wherein the exercise configuration chosen and displayed is according to the skill level of the person(s) 335.

[0065] The skilled addressee will, however, readily appreciate that the challenge and aim elements may be replaced with any other suitable display data, including meta-data. Similarly, the identification of the person may be used for any purpose, and any type of customisation of display data.

[0066] Finally, the fitness instruction screen includes a metadata element 435 that provides a heartrate overlay of the user's actual heart rate on the screen. The heart rate element 435 may be configured to illustrate heart rate as a number, or colour coded relative to a maximum or reference heart rate or any other suitable coding. The metadata element 435 is illustrated as comprising heart rate data, but the skilled addressee will readily appreciate that any suitable form of metadata may be used, including other types of heart rate metadata, and other types of metadata altogether. As an illustrative example, the metadata may be metadata of a smart watch or fitness band.

[0067] By overlaying the user's actual heart rate data on the screen, the screen is able to provide personalised data to the user, rather than being static data which is broadcast generally. Flowever, if actual metadata (e.g. heart rate data) is not available, static fallback data may be displayed. [0068] While the above example illustrates heart rate, the skilled addressee will readily appreciate that any suitable sensor data may be used, including personal data, equipment data, or a combination thereof. Similarly, personal metrics, such as data from a smart watch or health/fitness tracking device may be used, e.g. to identify a baseline or maximum heart rate.

[0069] Such personal metrics may be stored securely on the server 110 (e.g. as part of a cloud service), or temporarily on the computing device, in compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 of the European Union.

[0070] Different exercises are performed by different people at a single station. E.g. one may perform rowing, another may perform cycling.

[0071] Similarly, at each station, persons may perform different exercises in different sequences. For example, two persons at a station may initially perform different exercises simultaneously, and swap exercises partway through, so that they have performed the same exercises, albeit in a different order.

[0072] Such features enable multiple exercises to be provided at each station, and the station may be split, and each split view can have but not limited to multiple sequenced exercises.

[0073] Now turning back to Figure 3, the serial bus interface 325 is advantageously in the form of a universal serial bus (USB) port, configured to receive a USB thumb drive containing alternative content for display on the screen 210. The computing device 215 is configured to automatically read backup instructional images and video content from such USB thumb drive, and displaying such content (in a cycle/loop), should connectivity to the server 110 be unavailable (e.g. through an Internet outage). The content of the USB thumb drive may be ‘pre rendered’ and downloaded from a self-service portal in the event of an outage or technical issues. Alternatively, such backup content may be stored on another memory associated with the computing device.

[0074] As outlined above, the output 330 is preferably in the form of an FIDMI port, which is coupled to an input port of the screen 210. Such configuration enables the screen 210 to comprise a television having a standard FIDMI port, and alleviates the need for a smart television, or a non-standard television, which in turn reduces costs, and provides greater flexibility in screen options.

[0075] Finally, the memory 320 includes data and instruction code executable by the processor for performing the functions described herein, as will be readily appreciated by the skilled addressee.

[0076] As outlined above, the computing device 215 is configured to overlay local sensor data onto content which is received from the remote server 110. This is achieved using a render/UI server and middleware, which allows for the real-time detection, analysis, and overlay of data from the sensors to the content, as outlined below.

[0077] The render/UI server may comprise an X Window System (x11 ) server which is configured to provide the output which the person 335 sees. The server may be configured to provide a full screen "Chromium" browser window, configured to automatically open on the computing device 215, and display content from the server 110 via the middleware, where it is adapted. Alternatively, another browser, or even a pre-compiled application may be used. The render/UI server may also detect the insertion/removal of USB media and display any content (videos, images etc) on the screen when connectivity to the server 110 is not possible, or if there are other issues displaying content from the server 110.

[0078] The browser window may be configured to auto-refresh, preventing the need for manual interaction should the Internet drop-out temporarily. In such case, a service may run in the background and check for internet-connectivity. The browser window may then auto-refresh only once it has detected that the Internet has come back, to thereby avoid content that is being displayed on the screen from being lost, which would happen if the browser were to just blindly refresh the device when it’s actually not yet re-connected to the Internet.

[0079] The content is advantageously provided as an HTML page, similar to that of a simple web-app, that includes the content that should be displayed. The HTML page may be formed like a template that includes placeholders for sensor data. Alternatively, a location of sensor data may be pre-defined, or configurable by the computing device 215.

[0080] The middleware 'proxies' content requests to the server and also incorporates the ability to "overlay" data, such as the sensor data or derivates thereof. This allows for generic instruction data (such as videos) to be retrieved in (or near) real-time, which is complemented with real-time local data, such as sensor data from health trackers, equipment, etc. Such overlay provides a seamless user experience. The sensor data is also published back to the web- application in real-time using Websockets, to avoid the need for the page to refresh each time data from a sensor is updated.

[0081] The computing device 215 also includes a metadata beacon module, that collects data from the device 215 (such as CPU and device temperature, Wi-Fi signal strength, disk space, uptime, etc) as well as nearby sensors (such as loT health/tracking devices, equipment sensors, local foot-traffic / passing people, etc) and sends it to both the middleware, such that it may be displayed on the screen 210, as well as to the server 110 (e.g. a cloud service) to enable detailed analytics and reporting on individual fitness centres 105.

[0082] Finally, the computing device includes a Wi-Fi connect module, that monitors Internet connectivity, and automatically starts a "hotspot/captive portal" should the Internet disconnect. This allows for staff at the fitness to easily and efficiently "configure" or "reconfigure" the Internet access to a new modem/router or a temporary hotspot (such as a pre-paid data dongle), by logging into the hotspot of the computing device using a smartphone or computer.

[0083] In some embodiments, each of the computing devices 215 includes a plurality of Docker containers or virtual machines, each having a portable codebase that runs the various components required to allow the client-facing screens to function. Each of these Docker containers or virtual machines is remotely administered and may be updated “over-the-air” in a similar manner to the exercise instructions. As a result, the system is able to be dynamically updated to provide new functionality, bug fixes and system updates.

[0084] Now turning back to Figure 1 , an administrator 115 is able to log into the server 110 using a computing device 120, and manage content and administration of the system. As the system is cloud (remote server) based, "live" data is provided to the computing devices 215, rather than data that is downloaded and stored on a local server in each fitness centre 105 for later use over a long period.

[0085] This enables the administrator 115 to make changes that immediately (or quickly) filter through to fitness stations 205 at fitness centres 105 regardless of location, and without requiring any local updates of software or content. This allows for ease of scheduling and 'changeover' of routines, either manually, or according to a particular schedule.

[0086] Figure 5 illustrates an exemplary interaction 500 between a computing device 215 and the central server 110, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0087] Initially, the central server 110 sets content for a plurality of routines at 505. Each routine is for use with a particular station layout. As an illustrative example, a routine may include boxing exercises and be associated with a station layout that includes a punching bag for performing the exercise.

[0088] The server 110 may set the content for the routines automatically based upon an earlier defined schedule, based upon a request from an administrator 115, or based upon any suitable trigger. [0089] At 510, the computing device 215, which is associated with a particular fitness station, requests content for a particular routine (in this case “Routine 1”). The computing device 215 may be configured (e.g. ‘hardcoded’) to automatically request Routine 1 . As outlined above, each routine is associated with a station layout, and the computing device may be linked to a particular routine according to that layout.

[0090] As an illustrative example, a first fitness station 215 at a particular fitness centre 105 may include a punching bag for boxing exercises, and may be associated with a first fitness routine (Routine 1), wherein the first fitness routine changes but the exercises comprise boxing exercise utilising the punching bag.

[0091] As outlined above, the content for a particular routine may be associated with a particular fitness station identifier. As an illustrative example, Fitness Station 1 may be directly associated with Routine 1 , and as such, the fitness station identifier and routine identifier may be used interchangeably. Similarly, content for a particular routine may be associated with a region identifier, such that different content may be provided in different regions or in different languages.

[0092] The computing device 215 may request the content for the routine in any suitable way. As an illustrative example, the computing device 215 may request content for a first routine (Routine 1 ) through a URL that is specific for that routine. Similarly, a request for particular content may be implicit, wherein a particular device identifier is associated with a particular routine at the server 110.

[0093] While not explicitly illustrated, the skilled addressee will readily appreciate that the server may include access control, to prevent the content from accessed by unauthorised users, or being inadvertently or maliciously modified.

[0094] At 515, the server 110 responds with the content associated with routine 1 , in this case Content A. The content may comprise an HTML page with embedded media (e.g. videos, images, etc).

[0095] At step 520, the content is displayed by the computing device 215 (i.e. output on the HDMI output of the computing device for display on the screen), such that the content is overlaid with local sensor data. As outlined above, the local sensor data can include heart rate data, or any other suitable data.

[0096] Steps 510, 515 and 520 may be repeated multiple times, e.g. during a day, ensuring that content is freshly downloaded and displayed. [0097] At 525, new content is set for each of the routines. The new content will generally define new routines to be performed at the fitness stations, including new exercises. This may be done at any point of time, but in one embodiment is done daily at a fixed time (e.g midnight).

[0098] At step 530, the computing device 215 again requests content for a particular routine (in this case “Routine 1”), in an identical manner to that performed in 510. In fact, the computing device 215 has no idea if the content associated with the routine has even been updated, and as such always requests content in an identical manner, regardless of what content is actually provided.

[0099] At step 535, the server 110 responds with the content now associated with routine 1 , in this case Content X. The content may comprise an HTML page with embedded media (e.g. videos, images, etc), and is essentially a replacement for Content A.

[00100] At step 520, the content (i.e. content X) is displayed by the computing device 215 (i.e. output on the HDMI output of the computing device for display on the screen), such that the content is overlaid with local sensor data, such as heart rate data.

[00101] Such configuration ensures that content fresh, as it is retrieved in or near real-time, while being complemented with real-time local data, such as sensor data from health trackers, equipment, etc.

[00102] While the example illustrates content being displayed only once for each time it is retrieved, the skilled addressee will readily appreciate that the content may be used multiple times. As it is desirable for the content to be kept fresh, it is desirable to display content on loop for only a short period (e.g. <10 min, or <1 h) between retrieval of content. Similarly, the system may check to see if content has changed, and only re-load content when it changes.

[00103] The system may be configured to, automatically or on request, capture screenshots of the display screens, and provide these to the server (e.g. cloud service). This is particularly useful in debugging, as it enables remotely located technicians to see what is actually being displayed on each screen at any time, which is useful in identifying and correcting errors.

[00104] In addition to the screens described above, the system may include display stations, for displaying information. Each display station may include a computing device coupled to a display screen, the computing device configured to request display information from the central server, and display the display information on the display screen, much like the display screens mentioned above. The display information may include in-club notices, score/leader boards, or the like and may in the form of a web-page. [00105] The server 110 may include a workout / routine scheduling system, which enables the administrator 115 to schedule different routines for different days. In one embodiment, new routines are provided each day, such that the persons 335 are provided with variety in their training. The workout / routine scheduling system is also associated with a workout builder, which enables the administrator to build workout 'schedules' (i.e what routines are required on what stations for each day), and define routines. The routines may be defined as templates and may use blocks that are common across various routines.

[00106] The server may generate PDF files, including details of the workouts and schedule, and provide these for download, e.g. by staff at the fitness studios 105. Alternatively, the server may generate HTML pages providing such information. This is particularly useful in enabling staff at the studio to prepare prior to a workday.

[00107] The administrator 115 is able to configure particular fitness studios 105, e.g. by associating physical devices/equipment 220 with various fitness stations 205 in a fitness studio 105. This is particularly beneficial in that it enables an administrator to quickly get an overview of any differences between any fitness studios 105, and identify the need for future upgrades.

[00108] Furthermore, the administrator is able to manage devices 215 remotely, including upgrades and additions of features, and the core operating system.

[00109] The schedule may define a group of routines for a particular day, such that the server automatically changes the content according to the schedule and the day. As the data is retrieved live from each of the computing devices 215, the transition of routines between days is performed automatically without requiring any local input at each fitness studio 105, any update of any local content at a fitness studio, or any update of any local computing devices 215.

[00110] While not illustrated, each fitness studio may also access the server 110 for the purpose of member management and loyalty, analytics and reporting or for any other suitable purpose.

[00111] The server 110 may also be used to provide an initial configuration of each computing device 215 and screen 210, by allowing a simple association between a computing device 215 and screen 210 and associated equipment 220. As an illustrative example, "boxing bag punches" (i.e. content for an exercise) can be fixed to a station with a fixed boxing bag (i.e. equipment), ensuring that content always remains correct within a studio.

[00112] While in the embodiments described above one person 335 per station 205 is illustrated, the skilled addressee will readily appreciate that the fitness stations 205 may be set up to allow for more than one person per station. In such case multiple persons 335 are active per station 205, sensor data from the multiple persons 335 may be displayed simultaneously (e.g. side by side).

[00113] Similarly, while the above description refers to a server 110 in singular form, the skilled addressee will readily appreciate that the server 110 need not correspond to a single physical server, and instead may comprise a cloud-based server arrangement, such as an arrangement provided by a Public Cloud Infrastructure Provider, where the server 110 actually corresponds to multiple physical servers in a distributed arrangement. Such configuration enables flexibility and scalability.

[00114] In addition to capturing data from sensors (which may include loT devices) for providing graphics on the display, the system 100 may also provide such data to other systems, such as club management systems, for the purpose of member engagement, analytics and reporting, or for any other purpose.

[00115] Similarly, sensors may be specifically provided to monitor member numbers in a fitness studio, 'foot traffic' nearby the studio at a given time, or any other information relating to the fitness studio or its environment. As an illustrative example, Bluetooth Low Energy Beaconing from a smartphone (e.g. Android or iPhone), a laser counter on the entrance of a gym, and/or a camera that can count numbers of faces, may be used for such purpose.

[00116] This allows external monitoring of the health of the studio and its associated equipment, and allow for benchmarking of studios.

[00117] As outlined above, facial recognition may be used to identify persons. Such functionality may be used to check persons into the fitness studio, either independently or together with a device, e.g. utilising bluetooth low energy beaconing to trigger a push notification to an app on a smartphone. Such configuration allows users to verify their intention to enter the club (e.g. after hours) which may then cause screens to power on, together with other “smart connected equipment”. Such configuration is particularly useful when the fitness studio provides after-hours access, as it enables equipment to be activated based upon use. Such functionality may also be used to provide “smart home” functionality to a fitness studio environment.

[00118] Advantageously, the systems and methods described above enable management of a plurality of fitness studios in a cost-effective, customisable and efficient manner, while maintaining novelty and customer engagement. [00119] The methods and systems described above are simple and efficient, as they allow exercises and routines to be updated without requiring complex systems in each fitness studio, or personal interaction at each studio to update the exercises and routines. In particular, the methods and systems do not require data to be downloaded to any club or studio server, or any associated local networking.

[00120] The automatic updating of content directly from the central server removes human error associated with the configuration of each of the computing devices, and the computing devices may be updated remotely.

[00121] Furthermore, the system is not reliant on fitness station equipment working together. This enables each fitness station to be independently updated, meaning that a problem in one station will not effect others.

[00122] The use of local sensor data in combination with the remotely originating instructions provides an interface that is engaging and fun. In particular, persons training are able to see their heart rate or other information on the screen.

[00123] The systems and methods are able to be introduced with minimal impact to existing systems implemented. In fact, the systems and methods are particularly relevant for upgrades to existing fitness studios.

[00124] Finally, the systems and methods are scalable, and able to be deployed in a large number of fitness studios in a cost-effective manner.

[00125] Reference throughout this specification to ‘one embodiment’ or ‘an embodiment’ means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, the appearance of the phrases ‘in one embodiment’ or ‘in an embodiment’ in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more combinations.

[00126] In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific to structural or methodical features. It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to specific features shown or described since the means herein described comprises preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims (if any) appropriately interpreted by those skilled in the art.