What is FTMS?

The FiTness Machine Service protocol, better known as FTMS, is the latest Bluetooth standard used to control fitness equipment including treadmills, training bikes, and rowing machines.

Follow our guide to find out if your treadmill is FTMS enabled.

What does FTMS mean in the real world?

FTMS is revolutionising app development as we know it! On a practical basis, standardisation means 3rd parties can create apps that can communicate with any FTMS enabled device. Some popular apps that use FTMS are Zwift Run and Kinomap.

Do all apps work in the same way with FTMS?

The use of FTMS enables great features but the functionality depends on whether the equipment and apps use all the available features. 

To make things easier, we have provided a list of data of what a treadmill can provide, as well as the control functions that are usually enabled:

Control & send receive status of the treadmill:

  • Speed (current speed, control target speed)
  • Incline (current incline, control target incline)
  • Start (start the treadmill)
  • Stop (stop the treadmill)

Send status only of the treadmill:

  • Time (current total session time)
  • Distance (current total session distance)
  • Heart rate (current heart rate)
  • Calories (current total session calories)

Is all FTMS equipment made equal?

The short answer is no. Manufacturers have not implemented all FTMS features for their products. We have created a detailed guide on how to test what FTMS features your treadmill has available here.

Why am I not able to use all the FTMS functions?

The use of FTMS is great but both the equipment and app need to follow the same standards. If you are not receiving or able to control some of the items listed above it is most likely that the equipment is not fully FTMS compliant. If this is the case please contact the  manufacturer to confirm any issues or limitations.

What about cadence?

This is a very popular parameter to use for training optimisation. Cadence is not measured as such but rather calculated using distance (instant) and step count. Some apps (including Kinni) have this function built-in already however some apps lack consistent use of step count communication, which means cadence cannot be calculated.

Connecting multiple devices via FTMS?

As FTMS enables control of a physical device there can only be one “master” to avoid safety issues. This means that you will not be able to connect multiple devices directly to the treadmill using FTMS. If the treadmill does not appear in an app’s (e.g. Zwift – details here) device list it generally means the treadmill is still connected to another app or device.

Why buy an FTMS enabled product?

The use of FTMS enables the use of free and paid apps with your fitness equipment for current and future apps. This means you can breathe new inspiration into your fitness routine now and into the future.

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