VR Fitness application: Get fit in a new and exciting way
Our client is a fitness club, whose main goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle among people, focusing on young adults. VR fitness classes combine a high level of immersion and a typical set of repetitive activities, making exercise addictive. Especially in a world where we expect results now.
spinning bike prototype
VR fitness app
HTC Vive + sensors
Working out could (and for our sake even should) be hard and time-consuming. People have to stay dedicated and regular to achieve their dream body – staying long hours and performing repetitive activities. As the person becomes more consistent, their body gets stronger. What we tend to forget here, is that this process could take months, even years.
Unfortunately, we live in an instant culture – where a need for immediate gratification dominate our lifestyle and social behaviors. As a result, not getting the ABS after barely finished set of push-ups makes people get tired easily and their will power wavers just after a few days.
Our client has been looking for a solution to this tendency, investigate the topic of “Gym of the future”. The idea was to add VR elements into existing training – distracting people from physical pain and forcing them to perform better.
There were 3 challenges during design and development process:
Level up your character while leveling down your body weight
The main point of the VR fitness is to interact with chosen equipment, performing activities in the virtual world. Our client provided us with the list of gym equipment, including model and detailed specifics. We bring every piece to our office, creating fully functional prototypes – including the location of sensors and extension hardware pack. What's important, the final product should be gym-friendly, making it possible to exercise long hours without a distraction.
Because of the unique type of the project, we had to prepare a specific close collaboration model during the whole design and development process. We mixed Agile and Scrum, setting a few Milestones and meetings with the client every week.
The first prototype we created is for a spinning bike, making it possible to pedal in the game (as in real life). The game has all training elements from the gym machine – as well as additional gamification system with game mods like a ghost, beat the competition, points run, freeway or checkpoints. We created two different maps in two graphics and gameplay style. The upcoming projects will focus on a different set of activities like boxing or martial arts.
Where the mind goes, the body will follow
Immersive fitness aims to transcend the average workout class. It’s an experience that’s both physical and mental, employing visual and auditory effects. By pushing the boundaries of sensory intake, participants are kept fully engaged, allowing them to reach their fitness potential. Every single class essentially gamifies your workout, with the aim of transporting mind and body and allowing you to sustain effort and motivation that you might otherwise struggle with.
Thanks to our cooperation it is now possible to change typical “boring” spinning bike hardware into the adventure machine, making it possible to explore new worlds or just compete with others and yourself. Or even better, enjoy a martial-arts inspired class where you become a video game character fighting. Gain new clients, be unique on the market.
Time to work out
The whole experience was prepared in Unreal Engine for HTC Vive (with additional trackers and sensors). We used Raspberry Pi hardware, and our base gym equipment was Gym Spinning bike hardware.