Exercise Bike Becomes a Race Car in Virtual Reality

While you’re pedaling Boston startup VirZoom a new stationary bike requires an unusual accessory i.e. a virtual-reality headset, so that workout can be turned into a virtual adventure. It exactly looks like a traditional folding bike but the difference is the buttons and triggers scattered across its two handles.

This year a headset with several virtual reality for consumers is coming out. That includes Oculus’s anticipated Rift and applications like gaming are growing around. Including exercising, for rehabilitation virtual reality has long been used.

34553_1_a4870c0a58VirZoom cofounder and CEO Eric Janzsen challenged to race-car race inside the headset. You will learn to pedal faster to speed up my car and hug corners on tight turns. You will be forced to pedal harder to keep up the same pace.

In other game you may become Pegasus by flying through a world filled with trees and rolling hills. As hard as you pedal, the higher you will fly. This game is simple and you will be made to find coins and fly through them in order to gain energy. You will feel your legs growing tired over time.

Three forthcoming virtual-reality headsets (the Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive) will be compatible with VirZoom initially. All of these three headsets track head movements to make the leaning motion translate into movement within the game. The fastness of your pedal will be tracked by the bike itself and based on what avatar you take on or what type of land you travel over, it can add more resistance.

“We move you through the world in proportion to your effort,” Janzsen says.

Eventually the platform will open up to developers, but the first five games from scratch is built in VirZoom because its team worries the types of motion in existing games could make users sick. Purchasing of the gears you need to buy the bike won’t be cheap and using it will be clunky. The cost of VirZoom is $250; the buyers also have to factor in the cost of a header. And to a powerful desktop computer, the Rift and Vive will need to be tethered, while the PlayStation VR will have to connect to a PlayStation 4. As of now the VirZoom is planning to sell bike to people who want to use it at home.

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