Health & Wellbeing

Ultra-sleek Mini Walk smart treadmill tucks away where others can't

Ultra-sleek Mini Walk smart tr...
Getting a workout on the IPO Mini Walk
Getting a workout on the IPO Mini Walk
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The Mini Walk was introduced last year, and it won an ISPO Gold Award at last week's ISPO Munich show
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The Mini Walk was introduced last year, and it won an ISPO Gold Award at last week's ISPO Munich show
IPO Sports provides a more convenient way of indoor running with the sleek, lightweight Mini Walk treadmill
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IPO Sports provides a more convenient way of indoor running with the sleek, lightweight Mini Walk treadmill
Unlike the average treadmill, the Mini Walk is designed to be easy to move and hide away
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Unlike the average treadmill, the Mini Walk is designed to be easy to move and hide away
The Mini Walk includes a slim display up top
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The Mini Walk includes a slim display up top
IPO Mini Walk at the ISPO Awards section of ISPO Munich
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IPO Mini Walk at the ISPO Awards section of ISPO Munich
Getting a workout on the IPO Mini Walk
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Getting a workout on the IPO Mini Walk
The Mini Walk uses a compact motor that's also said to be quiet
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The Mini Walk uses a compact motor that's also said to be quiet
IPO Sports Mini Walk
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IPO Sports Mini Walk
Since it lacks the physical controls common on treadmills, the Mini Walk uses a sensor system and split-speed-zone design
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Since it lacks the physical controls common on treadmills, the Mini Walk uses a sensor system and split-speed-zone design
The Mini Walk is extremely thin and compact
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The Mini Walk is extremely thin and compact
View gallery - 10 images

Treadmills are a convenient way of ensuring you get your daily workout rain, hail or shine, but they're also large, heavy and not fit for every home. The Mini Walk from Chinese exercise equipment specialist IPO Sports takes cues from the smartphone, serving as a sleek, digitized treadmill compact enough for even small apartments or tiny homes. It meets your daily workout needs, then slides away out of sight under a bed or into a closet.

The typical treadmill tends to be a heavy combination of a chunky running base topped with an armrest frame and large digital display. Even folding treadmills can be big, heavy and difficult to deal with, making them an awkward fit for many rooms and homes.

With the Mini Walk, IPO Sports has completely reimagined the treadmill's form into something sleek, lightweight and easy to handle. Using the thin, design-focused forms of modern mobile phones as a starting point, it compacted the treadmill down to its sleekest and most essential form, a thin, stylish treaded base with integrated digital display – no upper frame, large computer or armrests needed.

In fact, the Mini Walk's surface stands just 1.9 to 3.5 inches (4.7 to 9 cm) off the ground, depending upon where you're measuring from. The full chassis stretches 55 in (140 cm) in length, providing a running surface of 47 x 18 in (120 x 46 cm).

IPO Sports provides a more convenient way of indoor running with the sleek, lightweight Mini Walk treadmill
IPO Sports provides a more convenient way of indoor running with the sleek, lightweight Mini Walk treadmill

Even if you're not a treadmill person, the Mini Walk's advantages are immediately clear. Instead of devouring the dedicated space of a traditional treadmill, the Mini Walk takes up space only when in use, before disappearing away under a bed, in a closet, behind a couch, or in another storage spot a regular treadmill would never fit. At 55 lb (25 kg), the Mini Walk is also light enough for a single person to maneuver.

Compacting the treadmill down so dramatically was no small feat. According to IPO, it took a team of five engineers close to three years to overcome hundreds of technical challenges. The company says the Mini Walk is the first treadmill that doesn't rely on welding, its aluminum and composite-heavy construction comprising just 22 components.

Since it lacks the physical controls common on treadmills, the Mini Walk uses a sensor system and split-speed-zone design
Since it lacks the physical controls common on treadmills, the Mini Walk uses a sensor system and split-speed-zone design

Without controls at the fingertips, the running experience of the Mini Walk will of course be different than other treadmills. The Mini Walk uses an infrared sensor system to adjust speed, which seems to function somewhat similarly to the system we looked at on this Ohio State prototype.

It detects the runner stepping on and starts the motor. A three-zone split provides a speed-up area at the front, steady speed zone in the middle and slow-down area at the rear. The digital display at the top provides a clear readout.

IPO Mini Walk at the ISPO Awards section of ISPO Munich
IPO Mini Walk at the ISPO Awards section of ISPO Munich

The Mini Walk won a Gold Award at the recent ISPO Munich sports show, where its price was listed at €200 (approx. US$250). We've reached out to IPO to verify that price and get distribution and availability information and will update the article accordingly.

You can see the Mini Walk in action in this short video clip.

Source: IPO Sports

View gallery - 10 images
6 comments
sk8dad
Nice concept, but I wonder how much the marketing folks actually know about running. The model in the picture provides a textbook demonstration of overstriding.
Derek Howe
good idea, I think a lot of people will want a treadmill that can slide under your bed when your not using it.
fen
@FrankHuang - The model is stepping into the area where it speeds up the machine. If that was her natural stride, the machine would speed up forever.
Daishi
I think the zones are based on her body position and not where her foot lands? Either way even if they used a mobile phone app to control it I like the slim design as treadmills are usually huge and bulky and take up a ton of space and this could allow a lot more people to find room for one.
jd_dunerider
No point in critiquing the runner, she's photoshopped into the picture. If it's 55 inches long, that would make the runner about 4 feet tall. They are trying to give the perception that it's longer than it actually is. Being 6 feet tall, I could imagine this thing is difficult to do more than a slow jog on. Hopefully it comes out and gets great reviews, I'd love to own one if it works well.
rude.dawg
The easier it can be slipped under the sofa or the bed, the easier it will be to forget about it. Just wake up late every morning so you'll be forced to run for the bus or the train. That'll the get the ol' ticker pumping.