As three years of research and development come to fruition, Robert Jacobson, digital product at Nautilus, is over the moon as the public company surges into the connected fitness market. He points to cutting-edge products rolling off the assembly line, the potently innovative environment Nautilus is forging and new CEO James “Jim” Barr’s unwavering vision to engage the 40-year-old company’s “noble mission” in the digital space.
“I’ve been at Nautilus for seven years,” said Jacobson, “and I can honestly say this is the happiest I have been here.”
October makes Nautilus history
Long a holder of well-known consumer brands, the Vancouver-based fitness company is capitalizing on brand name recognition and its legacy of quality equipment to enter into the connected fitness space. On Oct. 21, Nautilus expanded its Schwinn product portfolio with the new Schwinn IC4 Bike and Schwinn 810 treadmill, both featuring connected fitness, with Bluetooth data streaming and access to the Explore the World app. To be released on Nov. 15, the company’s proprietary app features numerous real-world maps with high-definition video and new routes added regularly. Aiming at the cost-conscious buyer, the bike enters the market at $799, and the treadmill sells for $699.
On Oct. 23, the company announced its first Bowflex indoor cycling bike. The Bowflex C6’s Bluetooth-enabled console allows users to track time, distance, calories and cadence. Users can also monitor their heart rate via the heart rate armband included with the bike. Additionally, users can sync to data-sharing apps, including Strava, UA Record, MapMyRide, Apple Health and Google Fit via the Explore the World app. Pitched as “less than half the cost of a Peloton bike” with “access to an unmatched connected experience at an affordable price,” the Bowflex C6 is a slim, attractive addition to the market at $899.
On Oct. 30 Nautilus launched JRNY, a digital platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide customized workouts that automatically adjust with the individual user. JRNY is a rebranded and enhanced version of Max Intelligence, its former digital AI platform used exclusively with Bowflex Max Trainers.
JRNY is an integrated feature on the new Bowflex Max Trainer Max Total cardio machine, which was released in August, and available via an app for the Bowflex Results Series BXT216 and BXT116 treadmills. It will be made available on more Bowflex, Nautilus and Schwinn equipment over time.
JRNY’s adaptive coaching technology uses AI algorithms, data from an initial assessment, and tracking from previous workouts to create personalized daily workouts based on the user’s fitness goals. Users also receive real-time feedback and expert guidance from a virtual trainer.
The JRNY digital platform offers the company’s proprietary Explore the World app and an expanded library of trainer-led workouts based on a user’s fitness level, personalized running and walking coaching for treadmill users and reward-based motivators. Users will have more entertainment options with JRNY, including Bowflex radio and access to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
For Jacobson, a lead engineer on Nautilus’s new digital projects, the intersection between personal connection and technology is where the magic happens.
“(The customers) really believe that Nautilus is with them. The two things they say about our system is, ‘It feels like it knows me and I feel like they’re here with me,” said Jacobson. “I came from consumer electronics and never in that time did somebody send a letter saying your product saved my life. But we hear that all the time about people. It’s honestly the most rewarding sort of payback for something that we believe actually does help people.”