Fitbooth is an Interaction and Service Design project developed during a 36 hours hackathon at MIT Media Lab in January 2016. The topic of the hackathon, “Urban Fitness”, means a closer look on how people do sports today and to understand how our lifestyle changed the way we experience the fitness activity in our daily life, in the context of the cities.

The Challenge

Being given a toolbox with several Puma products and hacking tools (such as Arduino) our first thoughts were focused on how to improve a meaningful experience improving what we had in our hands. However it didn’t take long to realize that was already been done -better- by other companies. Therefore we took a step back from trying pointlessly to define the "next best thing in technology", and started asking ourselves what, in our experience, was preventing to do more sport. If we have to be honest, it’s often not only about lack of time, but mostly about laziness and motivation: we work most of our day sitting in front of the computer, then after work we spend a lot of time commuting or driving home, often in a chaotic and busy environment. So that when we reach home the idea of getting changed and go out again doesn’t sound very appealing. So why don’t try to improve the experience in this area?

A quick look on google can show you the multitude of apps and devices already in the market. From tracking to gamification, the technology market already provided a huge amount of products to attract consumer and to improve the fitness experience. But somehow this didn’t ease much the psychological pain of “having to exercise”.

Our Solution: Fitbooth

We proposed a rental service that, similar to the bike sharing services we use every day, allows me to get some clean running clothes wherever I am, and that delivers my belonging at home so that I don’t have to worry about it. The experience is structured of three different and consecutive products/services.

1 – The App

We develop an integration with the existing Puma’s fitness app PUMAtrac that stores my information (shoe size, clothes preferences…) and allows me to locate the closest places to rent a running gear. Thought the app I can manage the whole process: from the booking of the gear to the delivery place and time of my valuables.

As a designer, I believe that a prototype is worth more than thousands of words. It helps aligning people within teams, with clients, and in this situation, with a jury of experts, and clearly communicate our idea of this service. Therefore after the concept definition, I focused on creating a tangible interface.

2 – The Fitting Booth

We imagined several fitting booths around the city, placed by Puma as mobile unity (in the picture), or in its own stores. It’s the place where I can pick up my running gear, get changed and store my belonging in a safe locker so that I don’t have to worry about them while exercising.

3 – The Delivery

Once I secured my stuff in the changing booth I can go exercise or run my commute to my place. Then, I reach home and just wait for my belongings to get delivered. If I’m not sure how long I’m going to exercise, I can simply tell the app when I’m home to start the delivery at that moment, the same way I would do with a food delivery or an Uber. The process was also inspired by Amazon’s locker service (in the picture below) and work in a similar way.

The Hackathon

We were the only group without a physical product to show, but presenting only a concept and a mockup of an app. Nonetheless our service received great appreciation and got us a third place, but mostly, the invitation to present the project in the Design Driven Conference 2016, on the prestigious stage at MIT Media Lab, where the same event talked Nicholas Negroponte (founder MIT Medial Lab), Harry West (CEO Frog) and John Sculley (Former CEO Apple).

The end
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