During the pandemic, Peloton’s 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 it hopes will bring the gym trainer into your home.
The Peloton Guide is a body tracking camera that observes and tracks your weight training workouts. Just mount it on your TV, frame your training area in the viewfinder, schedule a strength training class and you’ll not only see a Peloton trainer on screen, but also a live stream of yourself. . As you go through the workout, the guide will monitor your reps, form, and movement, and guide you through sets during the workout.
What makes the guide different?
In addition to being a virtual training monitor, Peloton Guide also uses
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. The Guide then uses this analysis to track your workouts and progress, from which it can recommend Peloton classes and workouts best suited to your bodybuilding goals.
From a fitness industry perspective, the Guide is Peloton’s latest attempt to expand its footprint — and subscriber base — of home fitness. This is significant because Peloton’s stationary bike sales have plummeted to the point that the company has ceased production. The company was forced to recall its treadmills due to the risk of injury or death. And, Peloton is bleeding money, the company recently installed new management and laid off nearly 3,000 employees in the process.
Will AI Body Tracking Blow Up or Crash?
So, without the pandemic-provided mandate for people to stay home, is the Peloton Guide the next big thing in fitness or just another neat fitness gimmick? This is just one of the many questions surrounding the Guide.
Admittedly, at under $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 for consumers to forgo their gym memberships and in-person trainers for virtual strength training at home? Also, will the limited strength training offered by the Peloton guide and classes be enough to get people up to the wide range 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 privacy a small price to pay for the convenience of virtual strength training at home?
Finally, there are already plenty of fitness tracking apps out there. Will the Peloton Guide stand out enough to entice 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 will know the answers to all these questions and more in time. But for now, Peloton is betting big on body tracking to expand its brand footprint and follower base. Ultimately, the Peloton Guide’s performance and popularity will determine whether this bet pays off.