It’s not often that Apple takes the wraps off secretive facilities, but the company has done just that with an exercise lab it’s been operating for the last several years.
Men’s Health just published an inside look into Apple’s inner sanctum to see the company’s secret exercise facility. Inside, after passing though security, the magazine discovered nurses, physiologists, and people wearing $40,000 masks. They also found what might be one of the most intensive exercise research labs in Silicon Valley.
Ultimately, Apple (AAPL) appears to be using the lab to learn about exercise, human movement, physiology, and how it can incorporate all of that data into its health-related products, like Apple Watch. And with reports that Apple is at least considering expanding its presence in the healthcare market, it’s possible the company’s efforts might also center on the development of other products and services aimed squarely at positioning Apple as a health heavyweight.
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Here are the highlights from Men’s Health‘s tour of the facility:
- The secret lab is located in Cupertino, Calif. but around the corner from Apple’s new Apple Park headquarters.
- There are 13 physiologists and 29 nurses using rowers, treadmills, metabolic carts, ECGs, and even a $40,000 mask to measure people, according to Men’s Health.
- The lab is a full-on fitness studio with group exercise rooms and a pool.
- Apple has installed rooms that are designed to feel like the Arctic or a desert, which could be used to further analyze human responses in those extreme environments.
- In an interview with Men’s Health, Apple’s director of fitness for health technologies Jay Blahnik said that the facility has “logged 33,000 sessions and 66,000 hours of data” over five years. More than 10,000 people have participated in its studies.
- There’s another lab that Men’s Health wasn’t allowed into, which tallies all that data and makes changes to Apple Watch programming to boost its health tracking and evaluation, the report says.
- It appears the fitness lab is focusing mainly on Apple Watch. And according to Blahnik, the company wants users to employ the Watch to help them be “healthier tomorrow.”