During the pandemic, Peloton sales soared as the company’s signature exercise bikes and treadmills brought people to the gym virtually. Now, Peloton is introducing the Peloton Guide, a streaming media device that it hopes will bring the gym trainer into your home.
The Peloton Guide is a body-tracking camera that observes and tracks your strength training workouts. You simply mount it atop your television, frame your workout area in the viewfinder, cue up a strength training class, and you’ll see not only a Peloton trainer on the screen but a live stream of yourself as well. As you follow the workout, the Guide will monitor your reps, your form, and movements, and guide you through the sets during the workout.
What Makes The Guide Different?
Aside from being a virtual workout monitor, the Peloton Guide also uses artificial
intelligence to analyze the image and biometric data it collects, track your progress over time, and note which areas of your body work harder than others. Then, the Guide uses that analysis to track your workouts and progress, from which it can recommend Peloton classes and workouts that are best suited for your weight training goals.
From a fitness industry perspective, the Guide is Peloton’s latest attempt to expand its footprint – and subscriber base – in-home fitness. That’s important because sales of Peloton’s stationary bikes have dropped to the point the company shut down its production. The company was forced to recall its treadmills due to the risk of injury or death. And, Peloton is bleeding money, the firm recently installed new management, and fired almost 3,000 employees in the process.
Will AI Body Tracking Boom or Bust?
So, without the pandemic-provided mandate for people to stay at home, is the Peloton Guide the next big thing in fitness or just another neat fitness gadget? That’s just one of the many questions surrounding the Guide.
Granted, at less than $300, the Guide is much more affordable than a Mirror or Tonal Home Gym. But, is the price of the Guide device, plus the monthly subscription, attractive enough to make consumers forego their gym memberships and in-person trainers for virtual strength training at home? Further, will the limited strength training offered through the Peloton Guide and classes be enough to make people pass up the wide array of weights and equipment offered by most gyms and fitness centers?
Will consumers be comfortable with a streaming camera that may or may not collect their data? Or is one’s privacy a small price to pay for the convenience of virtual, at-home strength training?
Finally, there are plenty of fitness tracking apps out there already. Will the Peloton Guide stand out enough to spur consumers to spend more to step up their fitness game? And even if they do, can Peloton make the Guide experience one that will keep consumers engaged?
We’ll know the answers to all of these questions and more in time. But for now, Peloton is betting big on body tracking to expand its brand footprint and subscriber base. Ultimately, the Peloton Guide’s performance and popularity will determine if that bet pays off.