Black Box VR is taking this idea to a ridiculous new level using HTC Vive and proprietary exercise hardware that turns working out into an immersive, competitive video game -- or it turns video games into a workout, depending on your perspective.
Black Box VR intends to open its first boutique gym this year in San Francisco (think SoulCycle, but with more VR headsets), and the demo it brought to CES is a bite-size example of what it plans to offer. Patrons will step into a literal black box, no bigger than 8 feet by 8 feet, and strap on an HTC Vive headset and motion-tracking forearm bands. And then the game begins: You're standing in the middle of a stadium packed with cheering fans, facing oncoming attackers and, eventually, giant mythical creatures. You throw projectiles at the enemies by doing standing chest presses. The crowd cheers, the score ticks up and it's all a lot of fun. In the demo, the tension ramps up rapidly to demonstrate the system's ability to dynamically add weight over time as players get stronger.
Eventually, Black Box VR wants to add the ability for players to compete live against other people working out across the world, but for now the company plans to incorporate user profiles and local leaderboards into the gym.
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