The peloton is not so happy with its rivals. The company has filed lawsuits against Echelon and iFit, claiming that each company has infringed patents related to Peloton’s on-demand classes. Bloomberg Law reports.
The problem is that Peloton says that Echelon and iFit get “free rides” from its technology. In court documents, the company specifically pointed to its rankings and the ability to attend live classes with other users. In its case against iFit, Peloton says that before it came, iFit “only allowed subscribers to follow pre-recorded training hours on their machines without any community involvement.” It also takes issues with iFit’s ActivePulse and SmartAdjust features, which automatically adjust things like workout speeds based on a specific class. The peloton introduced a similar feature on its Bike Plus called auto-follow, which adjusts the bike’s resistance during a workout without requiring you to mess with the resistance button.
Peloton claims that dozens of iFit and Echelon products have benefited from Peloton’s technology. It includes stationary bikes, treadmills, rowers and elliptical machines sold under the brands NordicTrack, ProForm and FreeMotion. The peloton especially called the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle Bike (as to be fair, is pretty similar to Bike Plus). As for Echelon, it called the company’s connected bikes, rowers and treadmills – all of which offer similar features, but for significantly less. During the pandemic, Echelons products were often referred to as “Peloton alternatives” by several consumer technology sites. Echelon also claimed to have developed a $ 500 Prime Bike for Amazon, but Amazon later denied the partnership.
As for what the Peloton ultimately wants, the company is asking for a court order that would prevent iFit and Echelon from infringing their patents, as well as compensation. If given, it can have a massive impact on the connected gym. Most, if not all, modern connected fitness hardware involves some form of on-demand classes and rankings. Similar gadgets like Mirror, Tonal, SoulCycle Bike, Hydrow and dozens of other lesser known brands have emerged in the wake of Peloton. Meanwhile, Apple launched its own Peloton competitor Fitness Plus last year.