in the spotlight: DLL, Immersive Fitness

Background

2015 heralded the arrival of the first permanent Les Mills IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ experience in the UK. Billed as the “future of fitness”, this state-of-the-art installation is currently exclusive to David Lloyd Raynes Park club in London and is the absolute cutting edge of the studio workout experience. IMMERSIVE FITNESS is cycling-based and combines cinema-quality motion graphics, music, and choreography to harness participants’ perceptions of their surroundings on multiple levels. The payoff of this workout is greatly increased because the combination of AV stimulants creates a powerful sensation of forward momentum despite the fact that the rider doesn’t move. Not only is this experience enjoyable, but riders are likely to work significantly harder because it feels like less effort as well.

Challenge

From a technical standpoint the challenge was to do justice to the concept of immersion itself. IMMERSIVE FITNESS may be totally experiential from the position of the rider, but it depends on some seriously advanced frontline technology to make it a convincing reality. Les Mills had previously toured the concept globally as “The Project”, which entailed immersing fitness fans into a 360° visual and audio environment where the instructor’s cues were synchronised with graphic and musical prompts. We worked with David Lloyd Leisure and Les Mills to implement the idea in a permanent cycle studio setting where riders faced in one direction at all times. This meant redeploying the technology without conceding any of the impact of the 360° experience, and in a way that ensured consistency with Les Mills’ international ambitions for the IMMERSIVE FITNESS vision.

Solution

The right projectors were absolutely vital in bringing the immersive experience to life. We liaised with various stakeholders and initially installed two Panasonic Laser Light Source 1-Chip DLP™ Projectors to deliver crisp, movie theatre-spec images in true colours. In conjunction with specialist lenses and Geometry Manager Pro software, these images can be flawlessly projected over multiple screens. Panasonic’s Multi-Screen Support System seamlessly connects parallel screens with edge-blending and colour-matching technology, and the Geometry Manager Pro software is a crucial addition because it allows for the curvature of the large projection surfaces needed for the immersive experience, and enables further creative masking or “overlapping” of multiple images. A final projector was added to cater for standard virtual class content, thus maximising both the functionality of the studio space and enhancing the overall return on the investment. And lastly, all of the equipment was calibrated by our own specialist engineers, who worked in close proximity with a representative from Panasonic to guarantee that the optimum installation had been achieved.

Outcome

Each audio visual requirement involved in this pioneering installation was met by Hutchison Technologies, and the David Lloyd Raynes Park site is undoubtedly the most coherent and progressive immersive installation in the UK to date. The use of breakthrough edge-blended projector technology in particular assures that the essential visual component of the IMMERSIVE FITNESS experience is carried through into reality.

From LES MILLS

It was great to work on our exciting future of fitness project, IMMERSIVE FITNESS, at David Lloyd Raynes Park with hutchison-t. When you embark on such an innovative project, it is reassuring to have partners that can adapt to changes during the project and always have the end user experience at the forefront of all parts of the implementation. We are really pleased with the member feedback and increased attendance in the studio which is the real result of the project in the end.

Martin Franklin, CEO LES MILLS™ UK & Ireland Martin Franklin, CEO LES MILLS™ UK & Ireland

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