Nautilus has launched its Max Intelligence platform, an artificial intelligence-powered training and coaching system, to ride along with its Bowflex Max Trainer M6 and M8 cardio machines.
The Max Intelligent platform is critical to Nautilus, which is looking to engage its customer base, boost health outcomes and develop a recurring revenue stream.
ZDNet: Black Friday 2018 deals: Business Bargain Hunter's top picks | Cyber Monday 2018 deals: Business Bargain Hunter's top picks
To deliver content and track customer health data Nautilus partnered with Samsung's B2B unit to install a purpose-built Galaxy Tab E in the machines. Nautilus uses Knox Configure to control the updates, content delivery and security on the devices.
Fitness brands are increasingly launching digital transformation efforts. Peloton is a widely known company that has melded technology and fitness and expanded beyond cycling. Life Fitness has launched a software platform for gyms and health clubs. And SoulCycle has adopted agile code development and apps. Fitbit is leveraging its vast data repository to become more embedded into the healthcare system.
CNET: Black Friday 2018: The best deals on sale right now | The best Black Friday deals of 2018: The Cheapskate's picks | Black Friday 2018 Amazon deals now available
On Nautilus' third quarter earnings conference call Oct. 29, operating chief William McMahon outlined the importance of Max Intelligence. He said:
Max Intelligence will include multiple features such as the intelligent coaching technology which drives the unique and custom workouts, a significant level of video content with instructor-led training and AI-based motivational tools designed to provide encouragement and rewards-based feedback.
It's not just selecting from 1 of 27 different workouts or things like that, it's actually delivering custom workouts for you based on where you're at in your performance to date and what you're trying to get to.
Max Intelligence will be a subscription for $149 annual or $14.95 a month. Here's Nautilus' core pitch for Max Intelligence, which initially launches on the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 and M8. A subscription includes intelligent coaching, adaptive workouts, video workouts, fitness assessments and rewards and tracking. The M8 is available online for $2,299 and the M8 Performance Pack is available for $2,599.
TechRepublic: Black Friday 2018: Best deals for professionals | Adobe Creative Cloud gets 25% discount for Black Friday
Nautilus is also looking to integrate technology throughout its product lines such as Schwinn bikes and Octane equipment. Samsung's tablets can be added to Schwinn bikes and feature games and content designed to boost heart rate levels.
Max Intelligence is engineered to take a baseline health assessment and then help you improve from there. Robert Jacobson, head of digital strategy and partnerships at Nautilus' Bowflex group, said in an interview that Max Intelligence was in development for about 18 months.
Also: CNET: Best fitness trackers | Black Friday fitness tracker and smartwatch deals
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Nautilus spent $12.74 million on research and development, up from $11.1 million for the same period a year ago. Nautilus said in regulatory filings that it is investing in engineering, technology and product development. For 2017, R&D spending was $15.44 million, up from $9.9 million in 2015.
Here are some key points worth pondering from Nautilus' development efforts:
New content and algorithm updates are pushed through Knox Configure and the purpose built tablets. Inputs from consumers come from the machines and sensors such as heart rate monitors. The Bowflex Max Trainer M8 has 20 resistance levels and calculates burn rate as well as other metrics.
Also: What is AI? Everything you need to know about Artificial Intelligence