Aerobics
Tread Pad sucks out the whimsy from a Dance Dance Revolution workout

The Premise. Home gym equipment can cause more headaches than it’s worth. Between the bulkiness, awkward shapes and price associated with home machines, sometimes getting that daily exercise is best left going to an actual gym. As technology is advancing at an alarming rate, however, new equipment is hitting the market all the time, some of which seems to be an excellent alternative to the issues that have been associated with home gym machines ever since they first came out.

The Product. The Tread Pad is a new kind of workout device that utilizes touch pad technology that is operated entirely by foot. It resembles the appearance and functionality of the dance pad for the game Dance Dance Revolution, but the flashy graphics and sound of that game have been replaced with some sterile red LEDs. This likely helps conserve battery life. The device allows for continuous tracking of calories burned, distance, average speed and number of steps. Perhaps the best thing about the Tread Pad, though, is that it only weighs 10 pounds and measures in at 24”x30”, making it semi-portable and easy to store.

The Pitch. If there’s anything that hurts the Tread Pad, it’s the campaign video. It feels dated, and as serious as a heart attack it seeks to prevent. The product is being billed as a customizable, easy-to-use device that could potentially replace the type of exercise equipment we use today.

The Perks. There are only a handful of different tiers to choose from with the Tread Pad. Entry level sits around $150, which would be very reasonable for a true treadmill substitute. However, despite its billing, the Tread Pad doesn’t offer the full leg extension that a treadmill can. Also, the reward’s description as “pre-retail” leaves it unclear as whether the device itself would be a late prototype of if you’re simply getting the final version before it’s available at retail.

The Potential. The Tread Pad seems like a product destined to show up on late night infomercials but for its price. It could be helpful to have a versatile aerobic aid that can travel fairly well and store easily. And the device’s different exercise modes may help routines stay reasonably fresh. Unlike with the original Dance Dance Revolution game, though, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of joy in using it, something the campaign points out all too well.