In true London fashion, the opening event of the new On Running Performance Lab took place in pouring down rain, much to my delight. Strike that, I was actually a bit miserable, having to walk in the abysmal weather for the press event. Still, I soldiered on, as I was really interested in the 'Magic Wall' technology that was said to analyse and categorise my running style in a matter of seconds.
The Magic Wall is a massive display coupled with a motion-sensing camera, a.k.a. the RunScan technology. In theory, RunScan can analyse and determine your primary running style in just eight seconds. All you have to do is follow the orange tape that runs along the front of the screen and let the algorithm do its magic.
As well as the Magic Wall, you can also give the SizeScan a go in the On Performance Lab. This is even easier to use than the Wall: you just have to stand still in your socks, and the algorithm will recommend shoes from the On running shoe library.
The best part? All this is completely free. You will be recommended On shoes only – obviously – but there is no obligation to buy anything in the shop if you don't want to. If you do, however, you should certainly check out the new On Cloudstratus (On UK (opens in new tab)/On US (opens in new tab)), a cushioned running shoe that was announced on 5 August, the same day the pop-up shop opened its gates.
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How to attend the On Running Performance Lab in London
The On Performance Lab (opens in new tab) is located at Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EY. The experience is open to the public, and it's also completely free.
Monday–Saturday: 11 am–7 pm
Sunday: 11 am–6 pm.
The event schedule is as follows:
Run club–Tuesdays @ 6 pm
Drills clinic–Wednesdays @ 6 pm
Guest speaker series–Thursdays @ 6 pm
S&C session–Saturdays @ 10 am
On Performance Lab: the Magic Wall in action
The Magic Wall technology was borrowed from On's flagship store in New York and after the London pop-up store seize to exist on 30 August, it will possibly travel to other locations across Europe. Here is how it looks in action:
On Performance Lab: more details
As well as offering the aforementioned Magic Wall and SizeScan technologies, group drills and strength and conditioning sessions will also be run by leading coaches. The Performance Running Lab will act as a hub for group runs, play host to expert Q&A guest speaker events and further invitational events for clubs, crews and partners in the evenings. Schedule for these events can be found further up.
Despite offering group runs and whatnot, I can only assume that people will flock to the On Performance Lab to try the OnScan technology (which incorporates RunScan and SizeScan). The OnScan database is said to contain more than 52,000 runs to provide "instant feedback on your running form", as On explains.
On claims that the RunScan tech replaces 'lengthy', treadmill-based gait analysis – at least temporarily. Instead of sweating away on a running machine, you can just run for 8 metres on an 'invisible track' and you are done. As you can see in the video above, once the system is up and running, it really only takes a few seconds to get the results.
As for SizeScan, it's even less hassle than the RunScan. You take off your shoes and get accurate foot measurements in just 5 seconds: magic!