The Future of Fitness: Virtual Technology

Fitness First’s ‘Future of Fitness’ report

The Future of Fitness: Virtual Technology

There are a lot of technologies in the works at the moment, and each one is being developed to increase the average person’s general quality of life. From advanced artificial intelligence for the medical field to lab-grown organs, the world of technology is growing with each passing day. One sector of tech that has seen a massive surge of popularity in the last few years is virtual reality. The idea behind VR is that the user is given the chance to enter a computer-generated world, and while VR has mostly been delegated to the world of gaming, it’s now starting to see usage in other fields.

One such field is fitness and exercise, and within the next few years we could see more and more people turn away from the gym, and instead staying at home, using their VR hardware to provide the same level of exercise as they’d find at the weight machines. We’re even entering a time where players are able to play games like poker and blackjack in virtual casinos, and before long punters may even be able to bet on NRL premiership odds through the power of their VR gear at home.

The Beginning of VR Fitness

While the idea of integrating fitness into a person’s home without expensive exercise gear has been popular for decades, it didn’t begin to see real fruition until 2007 when Nintendo’s Wii Fit was launched. The idea behind the console was to provide a series of exercise games that were both healthy and fun, and it sparked the idea of a new type of home-exercise that matched even that of the local gym.

Fast-forward to about a decade later, and hardware such as the Oculus Rift began to make its mark on the modern world. For the first time in history, people had access to VR technology that actually worked as VR should, and while it’s still being developed, it opened an entirely new world of VR-based activities that could potentially dominate the market within the next few years.

Best Current VR Fitness Gear

While the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are great for gaming, other brands such as Samsung’s VR Gear have seen growth in other fields, especially in those of fitness. Armed with Google’s and special controllers, players are able to take part in a number of different sports, such as the Sports Challenge game, which involves catching American footballs that are throw at the player within the VR world.

Other activities include mountain climbing, exploring the world, and even re-enacting the Apollo space mission. Other more simple games, such as Fruit Ninja, provide a few hours of entertainment, which are both fun and perfect for the whole family. While there has been some doubt cast on the efficacy of virtual games as real exercise, tests completed using heart rate monitors and physical exertion have proven that VR really has the potential to change how we approach our daily exercise sessions in the future.