Attempting to cash in on the teen obesity epidemic, one enterprising high school coach is using high tech to open the first interactive gym for teens, reports News.com
The gym, Overtime, is exclusively for teens (parents must wait in the lobby) and hopes to attract kids who love to play video games by having workouts on virtual-reality bikes. Kids can also spar with a virtual-reality boxing game called "MoCap Boxing," or watch high-definition flat-screen TVs while weight-training or scrambling up a rock-climbing wall.
"If we just threw some weights down on the floor and told teens to come in, they'd say, 'Up yours,' " said Patrick Ferrell, CEO and founder. "This is a little bit of a lab because it's the first time it's been done in the U.S."
Ferrell is no newcomer to start-ups. He founded GamePro Magazine, which he later sold. He also co-founded the early social-networking site SocialNet, and helped establish the game conference E3. He said he got the idea for an high-tech gym for teens while coaching high school baseball and soccer. He noticed that kids were really out of shape. Marketing analysts say that Overtime might be a tough sell, but it's worth a shot. "It's an intriguing idea, it's obviously not a market that's been addressed," said R.J. Hottovy, senior research analyst at Next Generation, a financial firm based in Chicago. "It bridges the gap between a traditional arcade and health club operators," he added.