Welcome to the era of virtual reality workout programs

[From Gizmodo, where the story includes other pictures and a 1:59 minute video; the Runtastic press release is available from PR Newswire]

Runtastic fitness in Oculus Rift

Welcome to the Era of Virtual Reality Workout Programs

Brent Rose

What’s better than doing your workout routine in your crappy, dank apartment? Oh, I dunno, how about doing your workout routine in a villa on the beach? Or on top of a beautiful hillside? Or what the hell why not, in the middle of a black hole? Well, that day is coming, and Runastic of Oculus VR is a sneak peek.

Built as a proof on concept, Runtastic for Oculus is essentially a port of some of the company’s other fitness apps, like the 7-Minute Workout, but there’s also lunges and squats and supposedly more workouts (like yoga) or in the pipeline.

Inside the virtual world you follow along with a virtual trainer (make sure you’re in a clear space at home, people), and your stats are displayed in a magical panel floating above you. You use a 3D motion tracking camera (possibly a Kinect) and reps are automatically counted for you. It doesn’t look like it’s set up to do anything super advanced like check your form (which some Xbox One workout apps can do), but it might be a fun way to add a little spice to your workouts.

Now, how many people have an Oculus and a motion tracking camera rigged up to a computer that happens to be in a wide open space in their living room? Very few. And the Oculus isn’t a wireless system, either, so I imagine there’s a strong chance you could get your arm tangled in the cord while doing burpees and rip it right out of your computer. In other words, it’s not really a viable system yet, but it’s a look at what’s to come. There’s no question that virtual reality systems will get smaller, better, and more portable, and when that happens, exercise apps are sure to follow. I’ve always wanted to do squats over the rim of a volcano… [Runtastic]


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