Saturday, June 19, 2021 | 03:48 am

Peloton Buys Wearables, AI, Hardware Companies in Deal Flurry

Peloton Buys Wearables, AI, Hardware Companies in Deal Flurry

Peloton Interactive Inc. recently acquired three companies, adding technology and expertise in wearable devices, artificial intelligence, digital voice assistants, and interactive workout mats.

The New York-based fitness technology company bought Aiqudo Inc. in February, and Atlas Wearables Inc. and Otari late last year. Peloton confirmed the acquisitions closed and were done to add talent and technology. The stock edged higher in extended trading on Monday following the news.

Aiqudo built an AI-powered digital voice assistant that lets developers add voice actions to apps and devices. Atlas Wearables made fitness-oriented smartwatches that guide users through workouts and gauge performance, while Otari created an interactive workout mat with its own screen.

The deals give Peloton technology to potentially build new hardware and services, expanding on its bikes, treadmills, and existing software. The deals could help the company offer its own digital voice assistant, for instance. The engineers who joined from Atlas Wearables and Otari say on their LinkedIn profiles that they are focusing on AI and computer-vision technology.

All three deals appear to be small. Aiqudo had dozens of staff, while Atlas Wearables and Otari employed smaller groups of engineers. In a recent regulatory filing, Peloton said it paid a total of $78.1 million in cash for three companies during the final quarter of 2020. Aiqudo is not included in that amount given the deal closed this year. In November, Peloton acquired intellectual property from Peerfit, a digital health company.

In December, Peloton said it would buy Precor, a fitness equipment provider, for $420 million. In 2019, it also purchased Gossamer Engineering, a Silicon Valley engineering firm that helped design devices for Google and Facebook Inc.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, Peloton Chief Executive Officer John Foley suggested the company has a pipeline of new products and said a rowing machine and a strength training device are “good guesses” as to what the company is developing. The company has also invested millions of dollars recently in its supply chain to increase production capacity as wait times for its equipment skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is currently under scrutiny for a pair of accidents with its high-end treadmill that led to the death of one child and significant injury to another. Shares of the company, however, have climbed in recent days on optimism that home workouts will endure.