Chinese wearable company Huami and fitness startup Studio are teaming up to build a connected treadmill, which they unveiled today as part of Huami’s keynote as CES.
The most notable feature of the Amazfit HomeStudio is its lack of a traditional treadmill front. Instead, you control the device using your smartphone, while content is delivered to a separate, vertically oriented 43-inch HD screen that the companies are calling the Glass.
The Glass kind of looks like a giant phone, and it also includes a camera that can analyze your movements with computer vision (if you’re worried about privacy, there’s a slide piece that covers the camera).
As for the treadmill itself, it’s 20 inches wide and 53 inches long, with a slat belt surface for a softer running feel.
Huami may be an unfamiliar name to most U.S. readers, but the company says it shipped 18.1 million wearable devices in 2017, and it went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018. Studio, meanwhile, has created more than 1,000 online fitness classes with a focus on treadmill running.
Studio founder and CEO Jason L. Baptiste (who previously founded mobile publishing company Onswipe) told me that with his vision of making running more fun and accessible to non-runners, he’s always seen creating a treadmill as part of Studio’s roadmap, allowing the startup to offer a fitness experience that’s truly “immersive and personal.”
And while Peloton sells a connected treadmill with a 32-inch screen, Baptiste said most treadmill makers are “manufacturing companies or device makers, something without great software or content or community.” He added, “We wanted to get the content and software right before we ever thought about doing anything with hardware.”
So the Amazfit HomeStudio combines Studio’s content with Huami’s hardware expertise, and it integrates with Huami devices and other wearables to track heart rate. And while a treadmill is obviously best for running, the Glass can also offer classes in sculpt, yoga and stretching.
Huami and Studio are not announcing pricing or timing, but Baptiste said the treadmill will be “an incredible value compared to competing products on the market.” (Pricing for the Peloton Tread starts at $4,295.) He also acknowledged that the real moneymaker will be the content subscription, which will cost $34.99 per month.
“At the end of 2019, Huami defined a new mission: Connect Health with Technology. STUDIO’s passion for fitness has proven to be a perfect match,” said Huami chairman and CEO Wang Huang in a statement. “We want to bring the latest in fitness to our users, through products and services they can count on. That’s what Huami Amazfit is bringing to the new decade – cutting-edge innovation in health technology.”