Peloton, the exercise company behind that really expensive internet-connected stationary bike, has had a really miserable 2021, but it’s not ready to toss in the sweat towel just yet. The company’s long-rumored smart rowing machine has been all but confirmed now, thanks to a few slip-ups in the latest Android version of the Peloton app.
Version 1.0.331270 of the Android app includes some pretty explicit clues about the forthcoming exercise machine. An investigation by 9to5Google has revealed text explaining the four basic positions of a rowing strike: starting, drive, final, and recover. For example:
This is the starting position of your stroke. Sit tall on the rower with your arms straight and your back upright. Your knees should be just above just above the ankles.
The idea of a Peloton rowing machine has been floating around the internet for a while now, but last month was the first the company actually came close to confirming its existence, via a job ad. Combine that with the Android app’s evidence — plus Peloton’s need for better press — and we’d be surprised if the Rower didn’t debut sooner rather than later.
Scenic rides and just rowing — If the text explaining the four basic rowing positions weren’t enough evidence for you, there’s more. The most recent Android app update also includes a few very strangely mangled lines of text.
Znmh gb vafcvevat fpravp ebhgrf sebz nebhaq gur tybor.
Pnrfne gb vafcvevat fpravp ebhgrf sebz nebhaq gur tybor.
9to5Google had the genius idea of running the text through a Caesar cipher and found out the text actually reads:
Mazu to inspiring scenic routes from around the globe.
Caesar to inspiring scenic routes from around the globe.
This is likely a reference to a scenic rowing feature similar to the “scenic rides” available on Peloton’s Bike. “Mazu” (the name of a Chinese sea goddess) and “Caesar” seem to be the rowing machine’s code names.
The Peloton app also revealed something called “Just Mazu” or “Just Caesar” with a short description: “Work out at your own pace and record your metrics.” This is likely a reference to a feature similar to the Tread+’s “Just Run,” which allows owners to, well, just run, no workout program or Peloton subscription necessary.
Time for a comeback — To call 2021 a mess for Peloton would be understating things, at least from a PR perspective. First, there was the QAnon insurrectionist infiltration problem; then Peleton had to shell out $100 million to alleviate an intense shipping backlog; oh and also, in April, the company was hit with a damning report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission after the Tread+ killed a child and injured multiple others.
These scandals have set Peloton back, as has the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Peloton saw a huge boost from pandemic stay-at-home orders and the company’s stock gained a massive 434 percent in 2020. Peloton’s stock has taken a bit of a dive in 2021, though, with shares down nearly 29 percent since January. But, we concede it’s still sold a ton of hardware.
The Peloton Rower (or whatever name Peloton settles on) could provide just the post-pandemic boost the company needs to settle back into a steady groove. As long as it doesn’t accidentally kill any children, that is.