The nearly invisible interactive home gym that fits right into your home.
In this new entry in the December WellTech series, we are introducing our first ever guest writer: Charlotte Buyl. Charlotte is a Marketing Manager for Revive a Belgian-based brownfield real estate development firm and a sports enthusiast which makes her the perfect fit to introduce us to this particular company.
Mirror is a smart home gym that fits your home. It comes disguised as a mirror, but once turned on it transforms into an on-demand workout class. You operate the Mirror with its companion app (no touch, no smudges). A wide variety of classes either live or pre-recorded ranging from cardio to pilates and from Kettlebell to Boxing are available, they even plan to debut a one-on-one personal training offering in the near future.
The main selling point of the mirror apart from the rich workout library is that just like in regular class you can see yourself and the trainer at the same time resulting in a richer workout experience compared to using your television for workout instructions.
imagery courtesy Mirror.co. Don’t be fooled, the Mirror does have an electrical cord.
For years, the real estate industry has been searching for ways to promote a more active lifestyle. Exemplified by the provisioning of communal fitness & activity spaces, building irresistible stairs, or providing sufficient biking storage (encouraging alternative commutes). Most of the opportunities for promoting extra physical activities through smart design are on the level of the neighborhood and building design. Due to space constraints, the options on the level of the private residence are rather slim. The Mirror provides a convenient and space-efficient way to get a varied workout while also removing the friction and commute from going to the gym.
When not in a pandemic, a big part of going to the gym is the social aspect of it, and even though Mirror tries to incorporate social ties into the experience it doesn’t quite compare to the real-life experience. The Mirror is also quite expensive. The hardware is sold for $1495, while the required membership for the app sets you back $39 per month. This means it’s significantly more expensive than a regular gym membership. Currently, the Mirror is only available in the United States, so when you’re based outside of the USA that is also a good reason to let the mirror pass right now.
The company was founded in November 2016 by Brynn Putnan, after bootstrapping a small chain of fitness clubs in New York, she created a prototype of the Mirror using a cheap Raspberry Pi computer. [Ed. Note: Creating a smart mirror is a popular pastime in DIY circles.] After two years of development, Putnan launched the first Mirror in 2018. After initial traction amongst celebrity clients, Mirror grew quickly to a company with over 100 employees and was acquired by Lululemon for $500 million. For an apparel company like Lululemon, but also Under Armour and Nike, it’s a strategic fit to operate fitness apps not only as an advertising platform but primarily as a data mining platform that lets them spot trends early.
Aided by COVID-19 the home fitness market is booming. The OG in this space is Peloton which makes sleek cycles integrated with a big screen and a membership platform to join live and recorded fitness classes on. Recently they also started to offer a treadmill version: the Peloton tread.
Another cycling platform, Zwift provides a similar service, with more focus on cycling. Zwift lets you ride in a virtual world, while Peloton transforms your room into a spinning class.
The aptly named Hydrow takes the integrated classes approach to the rowing-machine.
Echelon is a company that has an offering (Bikes, Rower, Stride and Reflect) in all of the categories mentioned above which probably saves on membership fees when you combine them.
Tonal is a touch screen with two adjustable arms that allow you to do various weight lifting exercises. It also touts an integrated AI that adjusts the workout settings when needed and warns you of potential injuries.
Another interesting trend in fitness and maybe even more compact than Mirror is Virtual Reality. Beat Saber is sure to make you sweat, but apps like Supernatural are taking real coaches into a virtual reality environment.
Another experience the smart-mirror producers want to disrupt is your morning routine. A mirror Verse-smartmirror, Defcon8, and Qaiomirror are the most notable options here although the many now-defunct websites of former competitors seem to indicate that this is a tough market to operate in.
Due to the IPO of Opendoor last week Ben Thompson reposted his 2016 post which is still as relevant today as it was 4 years ago… Another gem I missed the first time around; Alexis Rivas of Cover in the Build the future podcast…. An interesting proptech company to review or want to be a guest writer? contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.