Due to the recent launch of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Virtual Reality is no longer a distant dream – it’s here now! During this pivoting moment in technology history, developers are still finding new designs, and exploring the possibilities of this new hardware – reaching out further than simple gaming software.
Besides watching films in a 3D environment, making hologram phone calls and controlling flight simulators, Virtual Reality forces you to exercise in other ways. Let’s take a look at some of the top software, and how it encourages exercise.
One of the biggest additions to VR is the Omni, which is essentially a circular treadmill that allows you to walk, run and jump in any direction without moving from your ring. It may sound like an enormous piece of hardware, but it actually takes up very little space in a room – the main killer is the price.
This invention fixes the problem of traveling through actual space in relation to the VR world, as the fixed ring around you prevent you from actually traveling anywhere in your home. While most VR games have to be designed around a fixed space, this opens up VR gaming to less restricted gameplay (If you’re fit enough).
Fitness rating: 5/5
Audioshield is a rhythm game that challenges you to punch colours and shapes with two giant shields. As each shape is blocked by your hands, sounds are played – hitting notes in time with the music. You’re essentially boxing the air to the rhythm of the music. Beatboxing some might say…
It’s a good work out, enjoyable game, and great musical exercises overall. With the changes of tempo and difference in musical pieces, this game is a great example of how Virtual Reality is affecting bodies and minds for the better.
Fitness rating: 3/5
Similar to Omni, VirZOOM is all about being able to move forwards in the virtual world, rather than being completely stationary. The difference is that this piece of hardware resembles and exercise bike, and your hands are not wrapped around VR controllers.
This is a really cool piece of hardware if you’re sick of seeing the same four walls everytime you go for a workout. Each application allows you to take control of different modes of transport, such as horse riding and driving. Ironically there is no bicycle game.
Fitness rating: 4/5
If you’re a gamer looking to try new experiences, exercise is going to become unavoidable for you – which is good news for your sofa cushions. If you’re not into gaming, any of these inventions could motivate you into taking your first steps into a new exercise routine. What does VR mean to you?