Apple is bringing even more fitness features to the Apple Watch in watchOS 4. The biggest highlight is support for a new technology platform called GymKit, which will let users wireless sync fitness data between cardio machines at a gym and their Apple Watches.
As Apple noted in the keynote yesterday, when you use gym equipment with a Watch, there’s data on a treadmill that the Watch can only estimate, like distance traveled. Conversely, data on the Watch, like calories burned, is information the treadmill lacks or imprecisely measures. GymKit solves that problem by pairing an Apple Watch to whatever cardio gear you’re using by tapping on an NFC pad, allowing the two devices to sync their respective datasets to ensure that your workout results are accurate on both ends.
GymKit will be supported on workout equipment from partners like Life Fitness, Cybex, TechnoGym, Matrix, Star Trac, StairMaster, and Schwinn. The first models set to roll out this fall. For now, GymKit will sync data from cardio equipment — specifically treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes, and stair steppers — but there’s no reason why Apple couldn’t extend this to other types of workout equipment in the future.
That said, while GymKit-enabled gear will be out this fall, it’s probably too much to hope for any of them to show up in my local gym anytime soon.