Technology continues to evolve and impact our lives everywhere we turn. Facial recognition software is on the rise and used in more places than you realize. Have you ever automatically tagged your friends in a social media post before you type in their names? This is possible thanks to facial recognition. Its uses offer amazing benefits — theft prevention in stores, protection in schools, identity theft prevention, and more. It could also provide a nearly fool-proof way for members to check into your gym. Read on to discover how facial recognition software will transform the club industry over the next 10 years.
Facial Recognition Software: Gyms of the future
Club owners are responsible for staying in the loop of the latest technological advancements and how to plan for them. Lifebeam has developed a robot running coach to help track your movement and provide encouraging prompts through your headphones.
Still, it can be argued nothing could replace human interaction in the fitness industry. Salespeople once feared enrollment kiosks could take their place, but the desire of businesses to provide a welcoming experience with all questions covered quickly helped to diminish that concern. “Courage, enthusiasm, and a human connection cannot be delivered by a computer,” says Akradi, CEO of Lifetime.
How will facial recognition be used in gyms?
Linked to body assessment and exercise suggestions
Akradi also predicts within the next five years, 3-D facial recognition could be used to identify your members upon entry to the gym. This can then be linked to members’ body measurement data, a feature already being implemented in many gyms and studios. The final outcome would mean a seamless facial check-in and instant workout suggestions based on current body assessments and fitness goals.
The check-in process can become even more seamless and free up time for employees with the use of facial recognition. A turnstile could be released and allow entry upon a successful match of a member’s face. However, like a self-check-in, you still want your members to receive a welcome greeting when they arrive and be available to assist with any possible technical issues.
Class attendance tracking
Another time-saving opportunity is the ability to instantly know who attended a class and have access to more accurate attendance records. Integrating this feature into your reporting systems creates a smoother process for your group fitness instructors or personal trainers. You can use this data to provide the optimal class times or for payroll purposes. Newtown Athletic Club has rolled out facial recognition software to track class attendance, which resulted in 10 hours a month saved for the group fitness director.
What are the benefits?
Apart from time-saving, additional benefits could entail more in-depth data for all of your services. If the software could be used to track time spent on certain machines, for example, you as an owner could consider adding duplicate pieces to create a more pleasant member experience. Delivering instant workout recommendations customized to each member via your app could be another potential benefit since improved fitness results lead to more exposure and referrals. Data could be used to improve space utilization and programs too.
Things to be cautious about
State privacy laws and regulations
Privacy laws may differ by state, read up on your state’s laws before considering the use of this technology.
Getting your internal team on board
Before onboarding facial recognition software, the first group of people to familiarize themselves with the technology will be your staff. Any hesitation or reluctance they may have could impact how it is presented to your membership base and percolate throughout the club as a negative. The best approach is to over-communicate with plenty of advance notice to give your team time to fully understand the function. If they embrace the positives and benefits, your internal team can help members do the same.
Prepping your staff to answer questions
Along with communication should come specific training on how to handle any possible questions or concerns that may arise. If the team is trained to focus on how facial recognition software will be used to improve the member experience, they can guide members and help them to understand and embrace it as well.
The future of facial recognition
Facial recognition software will continue to become a fixture in our society. If you can use it to benefit your members and business, the future looks bright for facial recognition in gyms.
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