The only real difference between a gym and a home gym is that the home gym has been placed in our homes. Maybe a domestic treadmill is smaller, but the design is mostly unchanged, still crafted in sterile rubber, plastic, and steel.
Tera, a concept by Lunar Europe, is an exercise mat that feels at home in your living room. It’s essentially a glowing game of Twister, in which LEDs guide your hands and feet as you do yoga or pilates. But all of this technology has been carefully wrapped in premium Kvadrat wool. So during relaxation, Tera is just a beautiful rug. During exercise, it transforms into an interactive guide to your health.
“For us it has been really important creating a product that truly feels 'home' and non-technical,” explains Roman Gebhard co-founder of Lunar Europe, “almost as an precious piece of furniture, textile or carpet.”
It’s precious furniture, yes, but the clever interaction model at Tera’s heart shouldn’t be overlooked. Most living room exercise systems are modeled around the television. Think about it: Classic exercise videos and even newer solutions like Nintendo’s popular WiiFit and Microsoft's Nike+ Kinect point the user to a screen. Meanwhile, if you look beyond that iPad in the press shots, Tera really is more like Twister, pulling your attention toward a tangible object with a 1:1 relationship between its cues and the movements you make. When we mention Tera’s similarity to the classic board game, Gebhard doesn’t bat an eye.
“We felt that we wanted to create a truly immersive experience where the user directly in direct touch with the product and not just staring at a screen in the room,” Gebhard explains. “To me the Twister game does have that great immersive and direct experience that pulls you right into the game in a very physical way.”
If you like the ideas behind Tera, then we’d recommend checking out two other exercise machines they’ve built--the Vela bike and Nova climbing wall, both of which blur the boundaries between artistic sculpture and fitness equipment. Now if only Lunar would bring these concepts to market, we could finally ditch this creepy Gazelle Freestyle that keeps hitting on our Eames lounger.