Mirror, a Peleton-like company, has become all the rage over the past few months. The company’s literal fitness mirrors boast a reflective LCD screen that lets users follow along with guided workouts from the comfort of their own home. On Tuesday, the company announced that it is launching live, one-on-one personal training sessions through its aptly named Mirror device.
However, the workouts won’t be for everyone. Not only do they hide behind a hefty paywall, but they also lack some of the personal touch that training sessions typically include. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how this experiment pans out. If it succeeds, Mirror could pave the way for a whole new generation of home gym tech.
So, how exactly does a personal training session through a mirror work?
The Mirror hardware itself is a 40-inch-tall 1080p display that allows users to simultaneously see themselves and an on-screen tutorial. It is equipped with speakers, microphones, and a 5-megapixel camera that, until now, primarily served as a selfie tool for post-workout snaps.
Now though, home fitness junkies will be able to use the camera to interact one-on-one with a real personal trainer. From there, things will proceed very similarly to a normal training session. Users will have the option of choosing their trainer’s motivational style based on what they need that day. It isn’t clear if the option to work with the same trainer each time will be available.
While Mirror users won’t get the same experience of working out with a partner or the in-person form modification that a trainer can provide, they do have the benefit of working out in the comfort of their own home.
Mirror CEO Brynn Putnam is counting on that. She says, “The home will always be the most convenient place to workout.”
Do it for the ‘Gram
The startup obviously has a target demographic in mind—and it isn’t Planet Fitness’ budget savvy gym-goers. While the Mirror itself costs almost $1,500, each personal training session will set users back an additional $40. Even so, that’s still cheaper than most in-person sessions at a gym.
Interestingly enough, all of that is on top of a $39 monthly subscription that users must pay to access regular, pre-recorded Mirror content. So, while using Mirror to spice up a workout routine with a remote personal trainer is certainly novel, it isn’t practical for day-to-day use.
However, a very specific group of people sits at that intersection of costly and novel: social media influencers. A huge part of Peleton’s initial success can be attributed back to the traction it gained across apps like Instagram and Facebook during its early days.
Mirror will try to reflect that success (pun intended) by attracting influencers with these novel personal training workouts. Ask any influencer how they stay fit, and they’ll likely praise some form of training session or even say that they work with a personal trainer every day. A device like Mirror couldn’t be more perfect for this space. Its novelty and tech-forward nature are basically designed to be ‘Gram-worthy.
Despite the painful price tag for a training session, Mirror might be onto something. Peleton’s widespread success in the booming home-fitness niche shows that there is plenty of room for growth. If it can capture the marketing blessing of social media influencers, Mirror’s newest service might be the reason that the entire startup succeeds.