There are many excuses for not exercising — busy schedules, lack of motivation, “gymtimidation.” For decades, Nautilus, Inc. has been helping people overcome these obstacles by creating innovative cardio and strength-building machines, under the Bowflex brand, that give customers the results they want from the comfort of their own homes.
But times have changed. In the digital age, even industry leaders like Nautilus must keep innovating to remain relevant. That means offering unique products and a unique, seamless customer experience.
Nautilus had best-in-class machines and training videos. The next logical step was to make the user experience even more convenient, personalized and engaging.
“We truly believe that everyone deserves a healthy and fit life,” explained Chris Quatrochi, senior vice president of innovation at Nautilus. “Many of our commercials to date have featured our customers. We’ve received thousands of testimonials describing incredible transformations, but we sell hundreds of thousands of products, so why don’t we have hundreds of thousands of testimonials? We have more than a million customers, and each of them has different needs based on their unique lifestyle, physiology and attitude toward exercise. We wanted to create a tablet-based platform that meets everybody where they’re at on their fitness journey and provides the right results and the right motivation so that they can achieve success.”
Nautilus already offered machine-specific apps and training videos that users could access from their personal tablets or smartphones. Yet to provide a truly personalized workout experience, the company needed to create an interface to deliver video content that was dynamic, intelligent and flexible. That meant Nautilus also needed to provide the tablets.
Joseph Petroski, senior sales engineer for enterprise at Samsung, said, “When you’re going to deliver a piece of technology into a consumer’s home that’s as wide open as mobile devices are today, you don’t want to allow users to get in a space in the interface that they’re unfamiliar with, like settings they shouldn’t necessarily be working with. Nautilus needed the ability to streamline the interface and make the technology part of the overall product, versus it feeling like an add-on or attachment. Since the tablet is part of the workout equipment, the experience of the tablet needed to reflect the consumer experience on the workout equipment overall.”
That level of customization is easier said than done, Petroski said. “When you’re setting up a tablet for consumer use, there are some things you can only do with software, not on the tablet itself, like restricting access to certain settings. Other customizations — such as loading the Nautilus app and optimizing settings — are possible on the tablet, but would take a number of different manual touches after the out-of-the-box setup happens, not to mention the setup itself.”
Nautilus, Inc. didn’t have the resources to configure every single tablet by hand before pairing it with a machine. They needed a way to customize devices at scale.