It’s 8am and in the heart of winter. You wake up and feel the cold hold you under the covers, you shiver. ‘I promised myself I would get up and work out today,’ you think out loud, as your eyes dart shamefully to the Taco Bell bag that you brought home last night. You listlessly glance over to the window, ‘crap, its snowing out.’ The thought of going to the gym briefly flashes through your mind before a gust of wind rattles the windows, putting an end to any of that nonsense. But you know you’ve got to do something, anything, if only to get that bag of Taco Bell to stop mocking you for your foolishness. Yoga! ‘Yes, thats something I could do, but its the weekend, and the state of my room is far from serene….’ Thats when you catch your Oculus Rift out of the corner of your eye. You struggle against the icy hands of the morning that are holding down your covers as you slowly manage to pry yourself from bed. ‘s-s-s-even, just seven minutes…’ you tell yourself through shivers, as you put on the Rift and fire up your Runtastic app.
This is a glimpse into what the future might hold for virtual reality fitness, a future Runtastic wants you to buy into. Today the team at Runtastic – one of the leaders in the digital health and fitness industry, announced they are diving into the Rift and VR. Says Florian Gschwandtner, the company’s CEO and Co-Founder, “this will be a true game-changer for the entire fitness industry.”
The upcoming app from the Runtastic team will allow users to choose from a “selection of the company’s most popular strength & toning workouts… [including] squats, lunges and the popular 7-Minute Workout, with additional leg and butt workouts, yoga routines and more in the pipeline.” The app with allow you to do escape your bedroom, office, wherever and work out in a “cozy beachside villa” (which appears to be a reskinned Tuscany demo) or in a “futuristic black hole.” But the company says it will be adding more “customizable” surroundings so that they can create the perfect workout environment for them. Beyond just surroundings, the app comes with 3D avatar trainers, who will walk you through all the moves and positions in real time, and the ability to load up any of the site’s extensive video library within VR.
For those of your lucky enough to be attending CES this year, you can try out the experience at their booth, #74107 in Tech West. But for those of you who won’t be able to make it, the company released a behind the scenes preview of the new project.
Runtastic apps have been downloaded more than 100 million times, and they currently have over 50 million registered users. It’s exciting to see a company with such a broad user-base hopping into the space. VR fitness is one of the many applications for virtual reality, and is one that hopefully will help us get off our collective asses a bit more. I’m hoping that these guys get a chance to talk with the team over at Virtuix at CES. That would make for quite the interesting pairing.