Jen Patterson

September 02, 2021

The fitness industry fundamentally changed a year ago when gyms closed and kicked off the connected fitness revolution — and these changes are here to stay. According to a recent survey, 9 out of 10 adults who regularly exercise will continue to workout at home, even when gyms are an option again.

With a strong community at their home gym and some of the best equipment in the industry — which was already in homes and gyms across the globe — Inspire Fitness responded to the changing needs of their customers by launching a connected fitness application.

Inspire Fitness needed a technology partner to take them from iron-only to consumer-connected

As a self-described “Iron” company, Inspire fitness is a business built by people who are passionate about exercise equipment. Their experienced engineers build fitness equipment for the true enthusiast based on exercise science — and that equipment is built to last. However, because their expertise is in building high-quality exercise bikes, weights, and resistance machinery, they needed support taking their operation digital.

Also, with the supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, Inspire Fitness faced challenges acquiring hardware — made even more challenging because they needed different screen devices for each piece of cardio equipment. To go to market, Inspire needed to overcome the following challenges:

  • Building a digital experience for customers – connecting equipment with streaming and recorded workouts with lack of in-house Android development expertise.
  • Supply chain management expenses associated with enrolling devices before shipping to retailers.
  • Order fulfillment issues working with global suppliers.

Esper builds a seamless interface between Android hardware and software

Inspire Fitness knew Esper was the right fit for a technology partner because of our Android expertise in Android hardware and software — and the interface between the two. Taking Inspire Fitness digital meant executing on the entire experience from device control and software management to the end-user adventure when equipment is in consumer’s homes.

To enable Inspire Fitness to move forward and quickly go to market, we provided the following solutions:

  • Esper Enhanced Android (EEA)
    • Esper’s flexible, custom operating system — negating end-of-life issues and ensuring the Inspire could precisely implement on their consumer use case.
  • Additional commercial support for application software development
    • Ongoing software development support from the Esper team, including engineering, quality assessment, and project management.
  • Supply chain support 
    • Direct communication with global ODMs to build a suitable Android image.
  • Seamless provisioning 
    • Coordination with ODMs to enroll Esper onto devices during production.
  • Esper Manage console
    • Ability to remote-support clients.
    • Real-time device data.

Inspire Fitness goes to market, saves time and money with seamless provisioning and a customer OS

Inspire Fitness’s transformation from a top-of-the-line equipment manufacturer to a globally connected brand transpired in just 6 months. Now, Inspire Fitness and Esper maintain an ongoing relationship for OS and application development. And we’re working directly with multiple global ODMs to ensure Inspire Fitness’s devices are shipped preloaded with EEA for streamlined shipping straight to consumers and retailers, simplified management, OTA updates, and increased device security. 

The Inspire team reduced onboarding and operational costs by shipping equipment directly to consumers and retails with Esper already loaded on the tablets.  And with EEA, both Inspire and their customers have peace of mind that these expensive pieces of equipment can continue to run on a flexible operating system.

Now, Inspire Fitness continues to grow and relies on the advantages of:

  • Increased user insights
    • Ex: Ability to push targeted, timed software updates depending on user location.
  • Seamless provisioning
    • Esper works out-of-the-box — no need for technical support during setup.
    • Flexible growth with OS and application updates to ensure customers receive the latest versions.
  • Robust and sustained support from the Esper engineering team.