The focus of virtual reality is often on the games the medium brings to the table. And, in fairness, there are some excellent titles available and some exciting ones on the horizon.
However, people often forget just how much potential VR holds. It’s capable of transforming our lives in many different ways. One such niche that is gaining popularity is the world of VR fitness. With a multitude of apps and experiences centred on staying in shape, we take a look at some of the most promising and innovative options available.
Black Box VR – Virtual Reality Gym Experience
Perhaps the most exciting title we’ve seen is Black Box VR. The company describes themselves as the first ‘full-fitness boutique gym’ and promise to offer an immersive way to get fit.
…mixing the immersion of virtual reality with resistance training, cardio, and gaming principles.
The founders of Black Box VR certainly know their industry; Ryan DeLuca & Preston Lewis masterminded the phenomenally successful Bodybuilding.com. In 2016, they turned their attention to mixing the immersion of virtual reality with resistance training, cardio, and gaming principles.
The system was first demonstrated at CES in January. Essentially, it’s a bespoke training machine coupled with an HTC Vive VR headset. Black Box VR hopes to open a series of gyms across the US, allowing members to exercise using their own ‘black box’ space.
Although the idea seems promising, there are concerns about both the cost and the safety of the system. We’re certainly hoping to give it a try as soon as it launches, however.
Box VR – Virtual Reality Boxing
Not to be confused with the above, Box VR is a game that users can play at home. The VR boxing experience is available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality devices. Players must punch in time to a beat to get their heart pumping.
This game focuses on arm, shoulder, and chest workouts, while also being a great method of doing cardio. The game displays players’ heart rate, calories, and time spent, meaning you can really push yourself to meet your goals.
VR Fitness – Cardio Game
Steam’s VR Fitness is definitely more of a game than anything we’ve seen so far. Animated monsters will attack the player in waves, and you must move, slash, and work hard to fend off the attackers. It promises a full body and cardio workout, and displays calories burned at the end of the action.
The game is available for the HTC Vive via the SteamVR platform.
Virzoom – VR Bike
Another innovative tool that aims to get users exercising is the Virzoom. It looks very similar to a regular exercise bike, but it comes with addition gaming buttons, triggers, heart rate monitors, and 8-level tension control. With its built-in Bluetooth connector, users can hook up your VR headset.
There is a variety of games and modes that can be played solo or with friends. Players can track their stats and progression as they cycle through VR environments, keeping fit all the while.