This kiosk thing is getting ridiculous. Remember when we thought Redbox, the automated movie/DVD rental station, was an unheard of new mode of retail operation? And it really was. But now we have kiosks for hot meals, umbrellas, gambling and fresh-squeezed orange juice. We even have a creepy robot store that will drive itself to you, like Howl’s moving castle, but whose sole purpose is to provide you with convenient and efficient service of small commodities.
Well it’s about to get crazy — crazy RIPPED — because Chinese development company Misspao is gearing up to change the whole game with its line of street corner fitness pods.
Photo: Tech in Asia
Each four-square-meter pod has a treadmill, a TV screen, other fitness accessories, and air conditioning (crucial). You book the pod on an app, then when you show up, you scan the QR code and start casually toning your glutes. The pod charges you 0.2 RMB per minute (about 3 cents), then when you’re done you hop out and stroll into the open arms of the adoring public. Have you been working out?
It sounds just crazy enough to work. Misspao’s model makes sense, and it should; the company’s founder Bi Zhen got his start at Ele.me, China’s leading food delivery app. This guy is all about designing apps to make your life easier. Each gym costs 10,000 RMB, and the average daily use time clocks in at around five or six hours, so Misspao can draw a profit from a gym in ten months.
The company is less than a year old, but has gotten some strong support, having received an undisclosed amount equal to a few million USD from an angel investor as recently as last week. It’s already rolled out its first few porta-gyms in Beijing, and plans to have 1,000 operational by the end of 2017. We don’t know about the treadmills… but it looks like Misspao is on the right track.