IMAX launches IMAXShift, a virtual cycling studio

[This story from The Stack describes a new IMAX venture that combines its presence-evoking film presentation technology with the group cycling experience. The original story includes a 4:31 minute video report from the program CBS This Morning. More information is available from the press release and the IMAXShift website, which features this promotional text: “Let The IMAX Experience® change the way you think about fitness. Crystal clear audio surrounds you as sharp, hyperreal visuals suck you into the massive screen. A unique ride that leaves you breathless before you even break a sweat.” –Matthew]

IMAXShift -woman riding

IMAX launches IMAXShift, a virtual cycling studio

Nicky Cappella
18 Apr 2016

IMAX Corporation announced today that it is testing an immersive group cycling concept called IMAXShift, which will use IMAX technology to provide a state-of-the-art, immersive indoor cycling experience. The test studio will open in Brooklyn, NY on April 28.

IMAX built a cycling studio that can accommodate up to 50 riders at once. It hopes to reinvent indoor cycling by using IMAX technology to provide immersive, exciting experiences that could include cycling through the solar system, or over the coasts of Hawaii, all from the relative comfort of its Brooklyn studio. Cycling classes have been created to combine the act of cycling with music and IMAX visuals, modulating speed and intensity of the ride to match the audio and visual inputs of the studio.

The company worked closely with instructors including Jesse Alexander and Bree Banker of Flywheel Sports NYC, a stadium-style indoor cycling boutique with studios across the U.S. IMAXShift promises to ‘transport your mind and transform your body. Jesse Alexander said, “As an instructor, I am always looking for new and innovative ways to motivate my riders and help them get the most out of their fitness journey. What excites me the most about IMAXShift is the originality of the experience; by capturing the energy and buzz of an IMAX® theatre in an indoor cycling setting, the workout is truly immersive and no two will ever be the same.”

The concept of using a projection screen to provide a visual experience on a stationary bike is not new. Flow Cycle, also in New York, has been offering classes in the Financial District since 2014, using stationary bikes placed in front of a projection screen and combining audio and visual input with the cycle instruction to immerse the rider and improve the workout experience. What Flow Cycle doesn’t offer, however, are IMAX-sized screens and audio technology.

IMAX chose the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn because it is ‘well-known as being a community of artists and early adopters’ which the company hopes will provide an ideal test market for the new product. If IMAXShift proves to be commercially viable, IMAX will roll out the concept by adapting its current licensing approach used for the worldwide network of IMAX theaters. They are currently offering classes individually or in package deals, ranging from 2 classes for $31 to a $325/month unlimited monthly membership, comparable to the classes at Flywheel in New York.

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