When it comes to fitness club equipment, engaging the mind is as important as engaging the body. Tech-savvy consumers expect exercise equipment to track their performance, monitor heart rate, and display calories burned. More than that, they want the equipment that enables them to connect to and charge personal mobile devices, post results on social media, and access broadcast and online media services for entertainment while working out.
This might seem like a tall order, but the new Advantech InteliFit fitness console (Figure 1) helps OEMs meet these goals by eliminating the heavy lifting from the design process. Developed in partnership with Intel and Wind River Systems, this turnkey platform gives fitness console manufacturers a fast track to delivering competitive, feature-rich solutions.
Staying Fit and Connected
The challenge for fitness console manufacturers is to keep up with consumer demands by rapidly and cost-effectively delivering a full range of features and connectivity options. Partnering with Intel and Wind River, Advantech gave this problem some serious thought. The result is an integrated open frame platform powered by an Intel® Celeron® processor N2930 and Android* OS that helps OEMS quickly deliver cutting-edge software and services. Using this platform, console developers can deliver a high quality solution that syncs with a variety of user devices to meet fitness customer expectations.
Key features include:
· Large open-frame solution providing a 15.6-inch projective capacitive touch screen for exceptional viewing and navigation
· Heart rate monitor designed for 24/7 gym use
· Robust connectivity though an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi* (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth, and optional near-field communications (NFC)
· Enhanced TV tuner support through Wind River* Android* drivers and support
· Support for Microsoft Windows* 8, Linux*, and Android OSs to reduce development and software maintenance costs
· Wind River Android board support package (BSP) and related customizations to reduce development effort
Trim and Fit with Wind River* Android*
Android’s openness, highly customizable features, and robust ecosystem make it one of the most popular and fastest growing OSs. Advantech chose Wind River’s version because the extra features it provides on top of the standard Android Open Source Project (AOSP) help fulfill real-world requirements in and out of the gym.
Some key Wind River Android features include:
· Apple iOS Device Connectivity for access and playback of multimedia content from iOS devices connected via USB or Bluetooth
· Multi-window capability enabling display of a variety of applications at once using split screen, picture-in-picture, and desktop window
· Fast boot to reduce device startup time
· Media Center capabilities based on the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard allowing users to easily find, store, view, and play content
· Security-enhancements to remove vulnerabilities and provide specialized policy control
· Data/application personal separation to protect multiple users by isolating and encrypting application and user data
· Secure Boot to verify each stage of the boot process and allow only authenticated software (as opposed to malware) to execute
· Firmware management to provide a secure solution for updating firmware and applications on Android devices “over the air”
Low Power, High Performance with Intel® Processors
A quad-core Intel Celeron processor N2930 gives the InteliFit all the muscle it needs for gym use. Manufactured on Intel’s industry-leading 22nm process technology, this system-on-chip (SoC) delivers impressive compute, graphical, and media performance in fanless environments. The highly integrated, one-chip solution saves on bill of materials (BOM) and enables smaller form factors over two-chip offerings.
The processor’s Intel® HD Graphics 4000 delivers amazing and vibrant multimedia experiences, eliminating the need for a third-party graphics card. The SoC’s dedicated execution units and fixed-function and hardware decode engines provide enhanced performance (Figure 2). The SoC includes 3-D support through Direct X11* and OpenGL: 4.0*. For display, it supports HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort* 1.1 with a maximum resolution of 2560x1600@60GHZ, plus hardware-accelerated full HD video decode for H.264*, MVC*, VPG8*, JPEG/mJPEG*, VC1/WMV9*, and MPEG2* standards.
Figure 2. The latest Intel® Celeron® processor and Intel® Atom™ processor product families deliver significant media, graphics and display improvements compared to the previous Intel Atom processor generation.
The SoC’s integrated I/O interfaces provide the ability to handle a wide range of I/O, including up to 8 GB of DDR3L-1066. Storage includes SATA Gen2, eMMC and SD cards. Audio is available in low power and high definition. PCI Express* Gen 2.0 and USB 2.0/3.0 provide high speed I/O. And, for legacy I/O, both SDIO and SIO are included.
Helping Gyms Keep Customers Engaged in Fitness
As anyone in the fitness business knows, customer enrollments crest at certain times of the year, and retention requires keeping them engaged with both the staff and equipment. With Advantech’s turnkey platform for fitness consoles, cardio equipment manufacturers can now devote greater focus to developing the software features and applications that will help gyms keep customers entertained, informed and connected. In fact, it makes me think of heading to the gym just thinking about all the things I could be doing while putting in my five miles on the treadmill or half hour on the exercise bike.
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Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance
Associate Editor, Embedded Innovator magazine