Peloton ventures into wearables—but it likely won’t be a big deal in healthcare

The news: Fitness giant Peloton is diving into the wearables space: It’s reportedly working on incorporating a digital heart rate armband that'll pair wirelessly with its cycles, treadmills, and phones that use Peloton’s app, per Bloomberg.

How we got here: This news arrives shortly after Peloton’s March acquisition of a wearables maker Atlas Wearables, which developed tech like a heart rate monitor to measure effort levels during exercise.

For context, Peloton already has an Apple Watch app that lets consumers use the Watch’s heart rate monitor to track fitness metrics—but debuting a wearable could help it become less reliant on Apple’s tech, especially since Peloton’s new wearable will supposedly allow software updates.

The bigger picture: Peloton may roll out additional health features for its wearable later this year—but it likely won’t be a threat to giants like Fitbit or Apple.

  • Peloton’s new heart rate armband has to be paired with its fitness equipment, which has a higher price point than the likes of Fitbit. On average, Peloton’s bikes cost nearly $2,000 each—far more expensive than heart rate trackers like Fitbit’s (which cost about $100) or even higher-priced wearables like Apple’s Watch. So, consumers likely won’t buy Peloton’s wearable unless they already own a Peloton bike or treadmill, especially if it means they can buy a less pricey option that includes more advanced features than heart rate monitoring, like sleep tracking and potentially even blood glucose tracking in Apple’s case.
  • Peloton’s wearable won’t be viewed as a health tracking tool any time soon, but rather a way to rival fitness players like Apple Fitness+. For example, Apple lets Fitness+ subscribers integrate Watch metrics like heart rate into their workouts, which is likely what Peloton aims to do with its new wearable.
  • However, Peloton’s fitness focus doesn’t mean it won’t maneuver its way deeper into healthcare anytime soon. Similar to Apple, Peloton could market its wearable and fitness platforms to payers like United Healthcare, which have become increasingly interested in providing members with tech that’ll boost physical activity (likely since increased activity can prevent costly chronic conditions.)