Stationary bike company Peloton has announced plans to enter the video game business with an in-app video game temporarily called Lanebreak.
A members-only beta is expected to launch in the winter of 2021 and the game will be officially available to the public in 2022.
Now in beta, the new program is designed to gamify cardio exercises for users and is expected to be available on the Bike and Bike+.
The new programme is designed to gamify cardio workouts that will be accompanied by music and include various quests that will push users to achieve and maintain a certain resistance and speed to earn points. Users will be able to choose an avatar to represent them on screen and will be instructed to follow the beat of the music while having the ability to change lanes and face obstacles, as well as challenge other Peloton users for a maximised gaming experience.
The gamified programme will allow players to choose their level, from beginner to expert, while options such as music genre and workout time will also be available.
Lanebreak will be available on the Bike and Bike+.
Gamification of workouts has long been studied and is known to be a popular way to get people to exercise more. Last month, JAMA published a new study on promoting physical activity by incorporating gaming. The study found that overweight or obese veterans who received a gamification and social support intervention modestly increased their physical activity over a 12-week programme.
Another recent study from the University of Pennsylvania, focused on the gamification of exercise to promote physical activity and weight loss in adults with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, found that gamification worked best to change behaviour when used as a competition with peers or with the support of their social support networks.
Peloton has made great strides to become more actively involved in the healthtech industry over the past year. Indeed, in June the company announced the launch of a new corporate wellness programme in the US, UK, Canada, Germany and eventually Australia, while there are also plans to develop a heart rate monitoring armband.
As for its flagship Peloton Bike, the wellness giant introduced a series of new features, including one that allows users to view a panoramic route from their screen, as well as another that allows users to see how much time they spend in each heart rate zone.
This same year, however, Peloton faced backlash when it announced a recall of its connected treadmills in May, linked to 70 injuries and the death of a child. The decision came after months of pressure from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to remove the products from the market. Peloton had originally countered the CPSC’s warnings.