Goji Play: use an iPad to turn your treadmill into a video game console (review)

Exercise usually isn’t all that fun. Unless your crazy. But if you’re sane it’s probably more of a chore. It’s something you have to do, especially if you want to stay in shape. Well for the past few weeks I’ve been testing a new device that aims to make exercising fun. It’s called the Goji Play ($99.99) and it’s ultimate goal is to make 30 minutes of exercise feel like 5.

Before I got my hands on Goji Play, there were only a few options for entertaining myself on the treadmill. Most of the time I’d end up watching Netflix or listening to music or maybe an audio book or podcast. Or sometimes I’d stare straight ahead at the white wall in front of me not daring to glance down and see that only 30 seconds had passed since the last time I had checked.

Netflix (or Netflukes as it has been called, by me, in the past) isn’t a perfect exercising solution because it doesn’t have enough new content to hold my interest. Plus, it can be hard to watch a movie split up over 3-4 days in 30 minute intervals. Music… we all know it’s not good to get burned out on your favorite tracks, but that can happen all too easy when you listen to them daily. Staring at the wall… I don’t even need to go there.

Naturally I was excited to see that something like Blue Goji existed. I was happy to test the product out and see how it worked.

Basically, Goji Play consists of two remote-like devices that have some buttons on them and an app ecosystem that work with an iPad. The remotes come with straps so you can strap them to handles on whatever workout machine you want to use the system on. If, as was the case for me, they don’t quite fit well on your machine, there are a couple foam sticks in the package that you can strap the remotes to in order to simply hold in your hands while you exercise. If you want to track your workout while you play you can attach a sensor to your shirt or shorts.

There’s a main Goji Play app that helps you find and download compatible gaming apps. The games are what will end up making or breaking Goji Play. If it’s going to survive it’s going to need better games. Much better games. That said, the concept is absolutely brilliant. I love the idea and the execution works well enough. But I need better games.

Of the games that are available at the time of writing I most enjoyed the snowboarding and jet ski games. That said, they seemed to be a bit outdated in terms of graphics (the snowboarding game especially showed it’s age).

Because the games weren’t quite as nice as I was expecting, and there weren’t yet as many to choose from as I had hoped, time didn’t really fly by for me. But don’t get me wrong. This idea has so much potential and I’m betting it’s only a matter of time before some better games start popping up that will make this platform hit it’s stride.


If you’ve got an iPad, want to make your workouts more fun, enjoy the street cred being an early adopter gives and don’t mind catching a product on it’s way up, before it has truly come into it’s own, give Goji Play a try. Otherwise, Goji Play might make you sweat for all the wrong reasons.