I came across a very interesting job posting for “Senior Product Manager, Non-Instructed Experiences” at Peloton. Job postings always give a hint about what direction their new products are going, and this one has some interesting parts, namely:
create experiences that are fun, immersive and (most importantly) an amazing workout…
identify opportunities to drive incremental active days through non instructed experiences…
4+ years of Product Management or Game Producer Experience
Experience and/or passionate about how gaming can be applied to fitness
Understanding of how 3d experiences are built
When I look into my crystal ball, there are a few directions I can see this going.
Virtual Reality to Play In?
There are a few hints at this. They’re looking to build an immersive workout, and want someone with knowledge of 3D experiences. Combined with it being a non-instructed product, I think of strapping a VR headset on and exploring a virtual world of activities that get your body moving. Add in the desire for gaming experience, and it’s a possibility.
Augmented Reality to Provide Form Feedback?
What might be a little more likely is it’s a hire for their rumored “Tiger” device. Reports have described Tiger as a way to provide form feedback during Peloton strength classes. The small device would analyze your form via a camera, and provide you with real-time feedback in your instructor’s voice, according to the latest gossip. This is assumed to be built off of the technology Peloton acquired when they bought Otari Studios last year.
I can see this possibly being a role for that team, and here’s how: After analyzing your form, perhaps the Tiger device will display a video of you with the correct form or any areas where correction is needed overlaid on your body. In addition to vocal cues, this would provide you with a visual cue so you could see what needs to change. The extra layer on top of your body would be the AR part, and you could gamify it through a new points system (like the new Strive Score).
However, there’s still the “non-instructed experiences” part of this job posting. Perhaps these form corrections will not be made during a pre-recorded, instructor-led workout, but instead in a pre-planned workout you do on your own time and at your own pace. . I’m thinking similar to the Tonal has the option to build your own workout, or similar to just an old-fashioned program. In this case, you are told the exercises/movements to complete on screen (ex., 10 reps of squats). You would still get the feedback, but you wouldn’t have to try to listen to both the instructor leading the workout and the instructor’s form cues.
Peloton’s R&D is always impressive and constantly moving forward. It could easily be something completely new that I’m not even thinking of. Only time will tell!