Peloton Breaks Out Checkbook For AI, Hardware Acquisitions

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Peloton has bought up three companies that will now give it expertise in wearable devices, artificial intelligence (AI), digital voice assistants, and interactive workout mats, Bloomberg reported.

Peloton purchased Aiqudo in February, as well as Atlas Wearables and Otari late last year, according to Bloomberg. The exercise company said the acquisitions were meant to improve both talent and technology.

All three deals give Peloton the ability to possibly build new hardware and services that expand on its bikes, treadmills and software services, Bloomberg reported. The deals could also help Peloton debut its own digital voice assistant, with the engineers joining the company focused on AI and computer vision technology.

The deals are small, with Aiqudo having dozens of staff while Atlas Wearables and Otari have smaller groups of engineers, according to Bloomberg.

Peloton CEO John Foley told Bloomberg the company was not in need of new products, with a pipeline of them ready. He said some of them include a rowing machine and a new strength training device. In addition, the company has invested millions of dollars in its supply chain, intending that to go toward better production times to make up for the pandemic-induced increased wait times.

As PYMNTS reported in February, Peloton had its first $1 billion quarter. Inventory constraints specify that Peloton’s limitations might lead to higher spending on shipping and might cut down on future profits.

The company’s shipping issues are a byproduct of the company’s nature, with a recent shareholder letter stating that the economy as well as increased demand has kept the home bike economy going strong during the pandemic.

“What’s clear is the shift into the home is not a COVID-led phenomenon,” Foley said at the time. “It has accelerated it. There’s a secular shift into business in the home. It’s a better experience and a better place at a better value, and consumers are all seeing that. Some of the research we’ve done on going back to the gyms and consumer perception vis-a-vis home workouts suggest that certainly, COVID has been a tailwind for our demand. But in terms of demand for Peloton products and connected fitness in the home, we see continued momentum in the foreseeable future.”