Paving the way
As technology continues to evolve, it is on businesses to pave the way for new societal norms. There are many reasons to begin exploring possibilities. For Anytime Fitness, it was potential money savings, improved customer experience, and differentiating themselves from the competition.
Currently, members enter the gym by scanning a unique-to-them keychain beacon at the door. Members have to pay upwards of $60 when enrolling to cover the cost of the plastic beacon keychain. In the past, this technology was the right fit. The likelihood you had your keys on you was high, so it made for easy access and convenience for customers. It was also a way to track individuals’ check-ins at the gym for insurance purposes and safety. Now, the likelihood of you having your phone on you is even higher. It’s a staple (Keys, Phone, Wallet) when leaving the house, for music while at the gym, and maybe even to unlock your car. Anytime Fitness saw this as an opportunity to save money for their customers and their business. They no longer have to have beacons created, and members no longer need to purchase them.
The team at Lab651 joined the developers at Anytime Fitness to build off the app they already had and implement the access technology using NFC. NFC, or near-field communication, is the technology that allows your phone to be a payment method at payment terminals. The process here looks very similar to that; your old beacon is now a digital card in your phone’s “wallet” and is easily scanned to unlock the door. When within range of the gym, a Bluetooth signal will prompt your phone to send a push notification asking if you’d like to access your digital pass. By integrating the pass into the app, Anytime Fitness now has a way to easily communicate with their members, improve their customer engagement, increase their brand awareness, and more.
The NFC technology isn’t new, but implementing it for door access to a gym — is! We are excited to be part of businesses starting something new and look forward to Anytime Fitness starting a new norm for gym access.