Alexa Controls the Weight of NordicTrack’s New iSelect Dumbbells
NordicTrack has debuted a set of Alexa-enabled dumbbells whose weight users can adjust with voice commands. The exercise equipment company partnered with fitness tech developer iFit to create the dumbbells, which are the first for Alexa’s connected device ecosystem.
Setting a dumbbell’s weight usually requires manually sliding weights on and off the central bar. NordicTrack’s innovation uses a motorized weight selector within the $430 dumbbell’s cradle. A request to Alexa will set the equipment to between 5 and 50 pounds in a few seconds. Alexa understands commands for specific weights and relative adjustments like requests to increase weight by 10 pounds. Users can also teach the voice assistant what weight is needed for up to 15 different exercises. A user could ask Alexa to set weight for chest presses, and the AI would remember a previous command linking 20 pounds of weight to that exercise and adjust accordingly.
“We are thrilled to offer the first-ever voice-controlled dumbbells that work with Alexa,” iFit Chief Experience Officer Mark Watterson said. “Our patent-pending electronic adjustment eliminates the pain points of cumbersome mid-workout weight change found on other adjustable dumbbells, like decreased heart rate and reduced time under tension, creating a truly uninterrupted and transformative experience.”
Voice commands for iSelect dumbbells are considerably faster and neater than the standard routine. The speed keeps a workout focused because there’s no hunting for suitable weights or trying to make sure the dumbbell is balanced. The device also keeps all of the weights organized and within a single box so that the home gym is neater than it might be otherwise. Voice commands also make using the dumbbells more accessible to those who might have trouble setting the weights on their equipment. There’s also a mechanical weight adjuster knob on the box that users can pick over Alexa, though that makes the equipment more like the existing kind of smart dumbbells.
Amazon has already been experimenting with Alexa as a fitness tool. The Halo and Halo View fitness bands have connected Halo Fitness and Halo Nutrition exercise and diet-focused services to go with the health-related measurement and tracking tech. That includes microphones and speakers to interact with the voice assistant and get reports. Even the Echo Buds earbuds can track runs and other exercises, sharing the information through Alexa. The Alexa home gym seems inevitable in some form, and the iSelect dumbbells hint at what it will look like in the future.