THE FUTURE OF FITNESS IS HERE. TIME TO UPGRADE
Do you remember a time before tech was cool? Allow me to jog your memory. Recently, a colleague circulated a popular Youtube video entitled “Windows 95 Launch was LIT!!!” While I won’t embarrass my children by indulging in millennial speak, it was quite something to behold. Indeed, I’d say “batshit” just about covers it.
For the uninitiated, the 15-second clip captures the highlight of a mid-nineties press conference given to herald the arrival of Microsoft’s new operating system. It pretty much consists of half a dozen computer science nerds on a bare stage, dancing, gambolling and punching the air in a manner that suggests their Starbucks might have been spiked with ketamine. Bill Gates, then the world’s richest man, claps along to the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” like a clumsy impostor at a five-year-old’s birthday party. Meanwhile, executive vice-president Steve Ballmer appears to have lost control of his limbs as the result of some kind of berserk fit. This was a time when Oasis and Blur were battling it out for number one and David Beckham was preparing for his first full season as a Manchester United first-teamer. Technology was the antithesis of hip.
Fast-forward 23 years and this scenario couldn’t be further from the truth. While the launch of the next iphone probably won’t be accompanied by a televised IT department rave, it will undoubtedly be front-page news across the world. Where once it was culture – music, film, style – that dictated what was cool, now it is the means by which culture is created, filtered and disseminated that has the cachet. Algorithms govern what we see, how we think and who trends. The internet has upended once dynamic industries and radically transformed others. Many car brands and fashion retailers now see themselves as tech companies, first and foremost.
Perhaps more crucially, technology is now shaping our wellbeing. It governs the way we train, the way we administer self-care, the way we eat, work, interact, learn, emote and even have sex. And it is no longer just the gadgets that get upgraded: a whole industry has sprung up around upgrading you. The latest innovations purport to make us fitter, happier and more productive. Many of them are featured here, in our inaugural Tech Issue. Right now, there is no more relevant topic in health.