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Virtually race against friends on Nautilus’ latest treadmill
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Virtually race against friends on Nautilus’ latest treadmill

Mat Smith , @thatmatsmith

September 21, 2016 

When I’m running, topless, in my high-rise New York apartment, I often wonder: what are my friends doing? Are they on a treadmill right now? And if they are, why don’t we just run together, properly, outdoors? I joke of course. Outside is dangerous. Cars. Pollution. Other people in general. Fortunately, Nautilus’ T618 Treadmill will let you (kind of) run with buddies and online strangers, courtesy of tech from RunSocial. It’ll also display a view of one of several beautiful outdoor tracks, with the scenery going past as fast as you’re willing to run.

Nautilus is a huge manufacturer of gym equipment: those on-rails weight machines at your local sweat emporium? Probably Nautilus. With a possibly huge install-base (let alone the one-percenters looking for a new treadmill), it should make the chances of spotting other joggers, virtually, more likely. RunSocial already offers its service on an iOS app, but that requires some precarious iPad placement — depending on your treadmill of choice. With the Nautilus model, it’s all built-in, as well Bluetooth connectivity for heart-rate tracking (through wireless chest straps), USB ports, built-in speakers and a three-speed fan. (That is for you, not the machine.)

Fellow runners will show up on-screen as 3D renders, like some sort of bi-ped ghost car from Gran Turismo or Mario Kart. They can be your friends or outright strangers running the same track as you. According to RunSocial’s iOS app, you’ll be able to tap on the avatars to see how far or fast they’re going — and feel appropriate levels of shame or pride. The treadmill launches this month, priced at $1,300.

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