Yamaha have begun shipping their exercise-centric BODiBEAT PMP, which automatically selects songs that match the pace of your workout. Combination earphones and pulse-monitor (which clips onto your ear) are included, as is software that automatically analyses your music and then syncs track selections with the steps of the your walk or run. Onboard storage is a pittance, however - just 512MB - and battery life around 12 hours.
The idea, I suppose, is to regularly plug the BODiBEAT back into your computer to update your songs; at the same time, the system also tracks the metrics of your workouts, including distance, time, pace and heart rate. BODiBEAT can act as a regular MP3 player, or work in three fitness different modes: Free, Fitness and Training.
In Free mode, BODiBEAT automatically matches the music to the exercise pace; Fitness modes, including Walk Fitness and Jog Fitness, uses the heart rate monitor to select the most appropriate music for aerobic exercise at the user's fitness level. Finally, Training mode tells users when to speed up and slow down for ideal results, while playing back matching music.
Admirable as it may be, encouraging exercise by tempting with music, I imagine the $299.95 price is going to put most people off. Considering $178 gets you a 4GB iPod Nano and Nike+ kit, Yamaha are going to struggle to compete.
Shipping Now: BODiBEAT the World's First Music Player That Matches Songs to Workout Pace
BUENA PARK, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- Aug. 21, 2008 Yamaha's BODiBEAT is now shipping at http://www.bodibeat.com. The world's first music player that selects songs to match the pace of the user's workout, it automatically syncs music selections with the steps of the user's walk or run. A total workout tracking and personal music solution, BODiBEAT redefines the capabilities of portable music players, and makes exercising more fun than ever before. The unit also includes a heart rate monitor. BODiBEAT has a suggested retail price of $299.99.
"BODiBEAT maximizes fitness activities, adding an unprecedented level of fun and engagement to exercising," commented David Bergstrom, Director of Business Development, Yamaha Corporation of America. "BODiBEAT provides cutting edge functionality to those who need encouragement to stick with a new exercise regimen, as well as to those who are seasoned fitness buffs.
BODiBEAT comes with BODiBEAT Station, software that automatically categorizes each downloaded song by beats per minute (bpm), and a small heart rate monitor that clips gently onto the user's ear. Designed to maximize fitness activities such as running, walking and dancing, BODiBEAT also tracks the metrics of these workouts, including distance, time, pace and heart rate. BODiBEAT includes an armband and is ergonomically designed for ease-of-use and exceptional comfort during active pursuits. BODiBEAT features 512 megabytes of skip-free internal flash memory, and offers approximately 12 hours of playback when fully charged. BODiBEAT has four main operating modes: Free, Fitness, Training and Music. In Free mode, BODiBEAT automatically matches the music to the exercise pace, selecting songs that mirror the tempo of the user's jogging or walking speed. Fitness modes include Walk Fitness and Jog Fitness, each of which works in conjunction with the heart rate monitor to select the most appropriate music for optimal aerobic exercise at the user's fitness level. Like a personal trainer, Training mode tells users when to speed up and slow down for ideal results, and it does so while playing their favorite music. In Music mode, BODiBEAT functions as a standard portable audio player.
Additionally, BODiBEAT lets exercisers specify times, distances or calorie targets to help structure their sessions. When the target has been reached, the music automatically stops to alert them that the workout is over. For those who like to take a hands-on approach, BODiBEAT also features controls that enable them to manually change the tempo. Once the exercise session is over, a log of the session automatically appears, providing information such as average pace, calories burned and maximum heart rate. The included BODiBEAT Station software enables users to easily and intuitively manage the exercise logs.