Virtual reality is slowly making its way into the mainstream. It’s taking longer than developers had previously anticipated, perhaps due to the high price point of early VR headsets like the Oculus Rift. But as newer generations of the hardware are released, older models will become more accessible and they could end up being in every household within the next ten years. The technology is set to revolutionise a number of different industries, and it is likely to be put to good use in the fitness sector as a way to bring more excitement to the machines.

VR is Already Getting Big in Gaming

The gaming industry tends to pounce on new technology early on, helping it to reach wide audiences. In recent years, online casinos have been at the forefront of this. Indeed, certain developers have had great success by staying ahead of the curve and introducing new innovations when they come about. NetEnt, the creators of Starburst slot, have become one of the giants in the sector because of their state of the art slot games. Now, they are working on advancing this genre further with their VR slots which include Gonzo’s Quest VR and Jack’s World VR.

Sony has also realised that VR will be the next big thing in gaming, and was quick to create a headset for PlayStation users. Now, a number of big developers are creating VR content for the console. Some of the standout titles include Batman: Arkham VR and Resident Evil 7.

Fitness Can Take Inspiration from Games

Ever since Nintendo introduced Wii Fit in 2007, gaming and fitness have been closely intertwined. The game inspired people to get up off the couch and do some exercise at home while having fun at the same time. This concept has paved the way for VR to be used in fitness, and there are already some exercise games for fitness fanatics to play at home. These include options like BOXVR and Sprint Vector, both of which are available on PlayStation VR.

With offerings like these taking off for home console players, it would make sense for public gyms to jump on the VR bandwagon sooner or later. The technology has already been introduced as a way to make treadmills and exercise bicycles more immersive. While running or cycling on the machines, users can put on a VR headset and travel through virtual courses. This isn’t mainstream yet, but the novel idea could help more people spark a passion in fitness.

If it takes off in gyms, VR won’t stop at treadmills and bicycles. It could be used on all the cardio machines to help make them more exciting. In addition to that, VR could enhance the weight lifting experience. For example, when doing bench presses the VR headset could show the user lifting a car. This could make them feel as if they are taking part in a strength competition.

The fitness industry will work closely with game developers in the years ahead to create immersive VR offerings for fitness machines. The technology is likely to enhance the gym experience tenfold, and it promises to be an exciting stage in the evolution of the sector.



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Joel Levy