Is This $38M Backed Startup The Future Of At-Home Fitness?

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NEW YORK, United States — US startup Mirror is taking on the at-home fitness market with a connected mirror that’s already raised $38 million from eagle-eyed investors.

The high-tech device, which features an interactive LCD display with an embedded camera and speakers, enables users to see themselves, the instructor and other participants whilst taking part in classes ranging from cardio and boxing to strength or yoga. Supported by an iOS companion app, as well as providing real-time instruction, the device compiles user data to optimise workouts for targeted results.

“It was born out of a personal need,” Brynn Putnam, Founder and owner of NYC-based fitness chain Refine Method told Fast Company. “The idea of working out in the home always meant sacrificing quality for convenience,” she added. And in the case of competitors such as Peloton and Flywheel, sacrificing space.

With Mirror, Putnam’s goal was to create a product that integrated seamlessly into the user’s living space, as well as serving a purpose beyond the workouts. Her former life as a New York City Ballet dancer inspired the idea of a mirror due to its ability to encourage individuals to work harder as they exercise.

“You can put it in any room–all you need is the space for a yoga mat and you can have a great workout. Then your home can become your home again,” Putnam told Fast Company. “It’s really about you and your environment, not about a piece of equipment.”

Launched earlier this month, Mirror has already begun streaming more than 50 workouts each week with live classes available on an hourly basis. Recognising the growing demand for personalised wellness solutions, classes are available in group training and one-on-one formats. Individual sessions come at an additional cost, on top of the mirror’s initial $1,495 price tag and a monthly content subscription which is priced at $39. During these sessions, trainers can see and interact with the user, as well as give personalised instructions.

“Basically, what we’re trying to create is the personalisation, immersion, and interaction that you get in a live studio class, but in your home,” explained Putnam.

Having already secured $38 million, with $25 million coming from Spark Capital alone, which has previously backed Twitter, Oculus and Lola, Putnam’s confident in her long-term ambition to scale the business beyond the home-fitness market. The entrepreneur told Fast Company:

“The home fitness equipment market is worth $14 billion, but the smartphone market is more than $400 billion. So why limit potential to fitness?”

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