The word “Exercise” isn’t an attractive word to most people, even less so when put into a sweaty gym surrounded by people who look like professional body builders. Virzoom, the new stationary bike peripheral designed for Oculus VR, takes a new approach to the idea of fitness. On the VRX 2015 show floor, Virzoom showed that with two peddles, and a virtual world, exercise may very well become a part of every gamer’s routine.
Combining a stationary bike with a VR headset creates an immersion into the virtual world that standard VR headsets have yet to achieve. The cords tethered to the headset limit the amount of control players have when navigating an environment, often breaking the fourth wall when a jerk of the cord will snap you back to reality.
On a stationary vehicle, however, players can travel however far they like so long as they keep peddling. In the demo available at VRX, players could rope cowboys off their horses while racing through the old west, or peddle as fast as they could in a Formula 1 race car. The last, and most certainly not least, was the Pegasus simulator.
One of the big problems with VR is coming to a decision on just how players will interact with the environment. Some developers have elected the use of traditional controllers, while others such as Sony and Valve, have gone the way of motion controls. Virzoom’s own revolutionary take on the idea is simple. Players have two peddles, a single button on each side of the handle bars, and the ability to lean.
On the race track, players can accidentally drift too far around a corner and spin out as they are trying to turn the car. On horseback or on the back of a flying pegasus, you are interacting with your equine side-kick in order to turn.
Incidentally, at Indiecade 2015 when the GamersPack crew first got to test the technology, it was paired with a room fan placed directly in front of the user. In was quite welcome in the California heat, but the added in-game effect was that as you were racing, or flying through the air, the wind was hitting your face as you went.
At this point in time, VR is only able to stimulate a few of the human senses, the immersion into the world however, occurs after the brain adjusts to its new environment and begins to trick the other senses. The low fidelity concept of utilizing the world around you while in VR adds a ton of tiny adjustments that helps maintain the virtual experience.
If the idea of a quiet, horse-back stroll through the Elder Scrolls countryside sounds like a luxurious way to start your morning, just know that the innovation behind Virzoom could very well make it a reality. To find out more about Virzoom, you can head on over to their website at Virzoom.com.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.