The Hoist Mi6 Home Gym is a complete personal pulley gym system that delivers smooth, rhythmic movement to tone the body. It follows a design philosophy of simplicity and clean lines which encourages consumers to bring it into their personal living spaces and work-out rooms. All the pulleys, cables and bolts are hidden, and patented articulations and adjustments come naturally to people.
Hoist Fitness has worked with design firm DDSTUDIO for over fifteen years, during which time they developed a distinctive and cohesive range of commercial fitness products and experiences. The objective of the Mi6 project was to help Hoist re-enter the home gym space and become a market leader by offering a range of user friendly machines for toning and general muscle maintenance, that fit elegantly into the home environment and appeal to both men and women.
The program started with research into the projected customer demographic and growing demand for home gym purchases. DDSTUDIO looked at ways home fitness equipment was used and stored. Their field research at the retail level revealed that couples between 35 and 55 were viewing gyms in person after conducting extensive online searches. They found that women typically made the buying decision. It was also revealed that often one of the partners had experienced a health scare that required a lifestyle change, but they didn’t want to join a gym.
In order for consumers to embrace a piece of equipment in the home, it should fit compactly and attractively into their environment and be part of a deeper experience. In addition, the device should be equipped with digital devices to track personal activity and link with wearables. Complexity should be reduced and functionality highlighted using visual cues, form and color.
DDSTUDIO integrated with the Hoist Fitness project team by engaging them in workshops that included market positioning exercises and persona development based on consumer feedback and patterns. As a team, the Hoist Fitness engineers developed empathy for the home gym purchaser and understood their new customer profile: A consumer who wants the latest technology packaged in a sleek, simple all-in-one solution with a small footprint and looks great when not in use.
DDSTUDIO & Hoist teams convened for a Visual Branding (VBL) exercise, to define the aesthetic direction to more female-focus with clean lines and simplicity of use. The resulting theme board inspired designers to visualize a feminine bias in form and color, and a softer, upbeat feel. This was in sharp contrast to the heavy, clunky garage-based mechanical approaches. This VBL permeated all aspects of the final product design and was referenced during every stage of engineering and production detailing.
The team explored new ways to approach old problems: one prime example is the resolution for positioning and rotating the hand-grips. An extruded strut pivots top and bottom, and all adjustments and cables are hidden inside the extruded form. We were able to remove all visible fasteners, pulleys, hinges and hide the bulky moving weights. As an in-home system, we also insisted on quiet and smooth operation.
The resulting Mi6 product experience is an orchestrated, flawless harmonic flow, with every aspect of the machine attributes working together: ease of changing positions; comfortable grabbing of the hand-grips; complete rotation of the upright strut; convenient location of the tablet; weights ascending and disappearing. The engineering team took hold of the conceptual approaches and together we developed and patented novel approaches.
The Mi6 is a simple and effective home gym system that replaces the bulky and overly complex multi-gym of the past. The user feels at one with the Mi6 as they easily set the machine to their level of desired intensity and pace, while linking their tablet to experience body transformation on their own terms.