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Apple's GymKit reaches Canada with Life Fitness machine support

Apple's rollout of GymKit continued this week with the launch of compatible machines at an Equinox facility in Toronto, Canada, the first club in the country to receive support for the Apple Watch syncing technology.

Life Fitness GymKit



Announced by fitness equipment firm Life Fitness, members of Equinox's Yorkville location can now sync their calorie and heart rate data with Apple Watch on select cardio machines including ellipticals, treadmills, step mills and stationary bikes. Additional Equinox clubs will add compatible machines later this year, the company said.

"The advanced technology of Apple GymKit with Life Fitness equipment is another example of how our fitness platform is rapidly growing to connect exercisers, clubs and innovative technologies for more engaging workouts," said Jaime Irick, president of Life Fitness. "Equinox has always been a great partner and we're excited to launch Apple GymKit with them in Canada."

Unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last year, GymKit automatically transfers workout metrics between Apple Watch and compatible fitness equipment. Tapping the wearable on an NFC reader enables a two-way Bluetooth sync of data that includes distance, speed, workout incline and an estimate of calories burned.

The technology is designed to provide a more accurate representation of tracked workouts in gym settings.

Apple Watch incorporates a number of advanced components to monitor user motion, data that is subsequently applied to specialized workout algorithms for high-level analysis like caloric burn. For example, a barometric sensor detects inclines and declines, stairs climbed and altitude, but that information is lost when exercising on stationary equipment that simulates inclines and other conditions.

GymKit shipped with the release of watchOS 4.1 in October, with the first compatible machines hitting club floors in Australia a couple weeks later. The UK gained access to the technology in December, the same month that the first GymKit equipment made its way to the U.S..

Most recently, GymKit made its way into clubs in Japan and Hong Kong, again by way of Life Fitness products.