Augmented and Virtual Reality in Fitness

Combining Health with Play

In our busy cities, people are finding it more difficult to commit for outdoor activities. Some will cite time as a reason, others will say commute. Whatever the cause, the use of mixed, virtual or augmented reality in fitness comes as a promising alternative. Individuals can now work out at their pace with a coach or even a team. 

The following examples illustrate how AR/VR is transforming the fitness industry. They also demonstrate why more brands are likely to embrace these innovations soon.

Virtual Reality for Exciting Workouts

The fact that exercise is tiring is by no means the only reason why some people dislike working out. Often, people get bored. Performing a repetitive motion on a machine for an hour or more doesn’t appeal to many.

Luckily, virtual reality is bringing some change. For instance, a new VR experience called “The Trip,” offered at select fitness clubs in the United States, hosts spin classes in immersive rooms. The Trip uses images and sounds to make indoor cyclers feel that they are traveling through virtual environments.

This isn’t the only example of virtual reality being used to make exercise more pleasant. At New York City’s Woom center, students can take yoga classes in immersive rooms. The virtual images, combined with sounds and scent, are designed to promote a greater degree of relaxation.

Some fitness centers have also incorporated gaming into their VR fitness experiences. Individuals can box virtual opponents within a preset space, which reduces the risk of injury and the need for specialized equipment.

“Gamifying” fitness to make it more appealing isn’t just a marketing theory—it’s backed up by research. In a 2018 study, two groups of sedentary adults were provided with Fitbits to track how many steps they took each day over ten weeks. One group was also equipped with a mobile map game that was designed to encourage users to walk more. At the end of the ten weeks, the participants who played the game took an average of 2,092 steps more per day than those who did not play.

Virtual reality helps fitness brands attract customers who might otherwise not be interested in working out.

Augmented Fitness Experiences Both Inside and Outside the Gym

Consider the example of Zombies, Run!, a mobile game launched in 2012. It encourages users to outrun a zombie apocalypse that’s narrated through their earbuds. Zombies, Run! was an early example of AR, using only augmented audio, but it proved to fitness and game brands the value of augmented tech for fitness.

The concept behind Zombies, Run! likely inspired later games. A New Zealand VR fitness start-up, ARX, tried to bring zombies to the virtual reality world but found the experience too gamified. Instead, they developed three games that work out different parts of the body. Players can slash fruit or run through obstacles while still seeing their personal trainer.

The value of augmented reality experiences can’t be overstated. Approximately 71.6% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese in the United States. Augmented and virtual reality fitness solutions thus don’t merely help fitness brands attract more customers. They have the potential to improve the health of entire generations.

Your Future - Virtual and Augmented reality in Fitness with Ormuco

As many of these examples illustrate, participating in virtual reality fitness classes typically involves going to a gym or meeting with a personal trainer. However, that’s likely to change in the near future. The growing affordability of VR headsets has made it possible to offer such experiences to customers in their own homes. Someone who doesn’t have time to go to the gym can now experience a dynamic workout without leaving the house.

Your fitness brand should take advantage of this unique opportunity. We at Ormuco can help. Our autonomous platform, designed for virtual and augmented reality workloads of any kind, can provision and manage several servers. Our process is the key to developing a reliable virtual and augmented reality experience.