A fo­cus on mind­ful­ness, a new ap­proach to fit­ness stu­dios and a more holis­tic view of the body and mind are in­flu­enc­ing cur­rent think­ing on health

Computer Arts - - Contents -

The rise of ‘su­per­charged well­be­ing’ en­vi­ron­ments, mix­ing ex­er­cise with im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences

Grow­ing in­ter­est in mind­ful­ness prac­tices, im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences and healthy rou­tines are shap­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of well­ness des­ti­na­tions, of­fer­ing con­sumers in­no­va­tive and play­ful ways to take care of their bodies and minds. Spas, fit­ness cen­tres and yoga stu­dios are mov­ing away from Scan­di­na­vian-in­spired de­sign trends, which fo­cus on a clean, min­i­mal aes­thetic, and rein­vent­ing them­selves as life­style hubs.

This new breed of im­mer­sive phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment fea­tures au­diore­ac­tive vis­ual in­stal­la­tions and 3D sound sys­tems. Tech­nol­ogy helps con­sumers feel calm and fo­cused, and also boosts their per­for­mance.

As part of its Un­lim­ited You cam­paign, launched for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Nike in­tro­duced a three-day, fully im­mer­sive fit­ness ex­pe­ri­ence in east Lon­don that chal­lenged the typ­i­cal con­cept of a gym. The space show­cased a su­per­charged en­vi­ron­ment, com­plete with large-screen cus­tom pro­jec­tions and a be­spoke sound­track com­posed by Hot Chip and per­formed by a live orches­tra. An im­mer­sive light in­stal­la­tion guided par­tic­i­pants through their work­out, gen­er­at­ing dif­fer­ent land­scapes as they pro­gressed.

New York-based In­scape is a 5,000-square-foot venue that of­fers im­mer­sive au­dio-guided group ex­pe­ri­ences for med­i­ta­tion and re­lax­ation. Its two rooms fea­ture sur­round-sound speak­ers and light­ing, seam­lessly in­te­grated into the walls and ceil­ings. At In­scape there are no teach­ers and all classes are de­liv­ered via an app, down­load­able from iTunes, played through the speaker sys­tem. The In­scape app comes with a di­verse ar­ray of pre-recorded ses­sions and can be used at the In­scape stu­dio as well as on the go.

In­spired by a holis­tic ap­proach to well­be­ing, each class at Lon­don­based Chro­maYoga com­bines light ther­apy, sound­scapes and be­spoke nat­u­ral scents to cre­ate a spe­cially de­signed com­bi­na­tion of sen­sory trig­gers. By merg­ing an­cient tech­niques and tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments, this stu­dio prac­tice of­fers con­sumers a fully im­mer­sive en­vi­ron­ment where the ben­e­fi­cial prop­er­ties of red, yel­low, blue, or­ange and pink lights are used to al­le­vi­ate emo­tional and phys­i­cal ail­ments. Each class is ac­com­pa­nied by a spe­cially com­posed sound­track that em­u­lates the fre­quen­cies emit­ted by the brain in dif­fer­ent states of con­scious­ness, pro­mot­ing re­lax­ation and fo­cus dur­ing ex­er­cise.

Our fast-paced lives are be­come in­creas­ingly dom­i­nated by rapidly chang­ing tech­nol­ogy trends, mul­ti­task­ing modes, and heavy me­dia and dig­i­tal con­sump­tion. Con­se­quently, the way we take care of our bodies and minds is evolv­ing as we look at how sen­sory tech­nol­ogy can help.

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