Tharini Dasanayaka

March 22, 2021

Virtual Reality and Holographic technology for better gym routines

Going to the gym to workout is not exciting for most of us and we need to have lots of courage to get up in the morning get ready and hit the gym for all sorts of repetitive and mundane tasks you get to do to exercise your body. For some people this is easy and yay for them but the rest of us find it very boring.

Running on the treadmill for 30 -35 minutes is the most boring out of all for me personally but what if we could make all of these more entertaining and exciting? You look forward to your next session in the gym or running on your treadmill? Would be cool for most of us wouldn’t it? And make us much healthier and fit too.

Technology can be used to bridge this gap by using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. A device like google glasses a wearable device paired with adding some sensors to the exercise machine can do this. Imagine once you get on the treadmill you get to choose which destination you are going to today or which character you are going to be today? You could be a cowboy riding a horse in a dessert and the next day you could be swimming with turtles in Hawai, exploring the vast universe on your spaceship or better yet practicing your sword skills in Japan.

There are companies like Holodia, VirZoom, and BlackBox that provide solutions like these. VirZoom has remade the Lifecycle bicycles with SE3 consoles. These bicycles have added sensor’s to capture your leg movements. These bicycles contain an additional joystick with resistance buttons to help the users in gameplay. Paired with a VR Headset sold separately. The bicycle can be paired with Samsung GearVR (S8 or S8+), PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Headsets as well. The problem with this is the graphics are not that high quality and doesn’t give you the completed immersive experience to keep you engaged.

Holodia is also similar to VirZoom but provides integration with more exercise machines. Holodia integrates with Bike machines, rowing machines, and walking/climbing machines as well but only the HTC Hive headset is supported which is kind of a bummer situation. You can choose from a set of locations like Saturn, Antarctica, Babylon etc. and multiplayer option is also allowed.

BlackBox VR is a company that offers the world’s first virtual reality gym experience. They have integrated the gym with VR and created the Black Box VR boutique gym. You’ll step into the Black Box room with your custom fitness headset and an entire new world will be created around you. As you go through this VR experience, you’ll get a full body workout that is immersive. Some of their future VR workouts will include basic features like having a virtual trainer guiding you through a bodyweight workout similar to Wii Fit. And they will also integrate resistance training through an electronically controlled cable system which will be seamlessly integrated into the game experience.

As of now all the developed experiences and machines require a VR headset as well as a special machine made for this purpose. In the future, there will be more developments where you will be able to work out in any reasonable place without having to wear any devices. The experience can be enhanced by using holographic images and environments projected into the live world where you can interact with them and continue your fitness journey. In the future, we hope that the need to go to a gym for exercising will be taken off and you will be able to exercise anytime and anyplace convenient for you. A virtual fitness coach will guide you through a well-planned set of VR games where you get to play with your friends too and at the end of the game you can boast about which level you are on the game and be happy about the goals while you are sipping on your healthy smoothie.

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