VR gym provides a virtual experience

VR gym provides a virtual experience

Need a spot of exercise but can’t face the gym? Love gaming but not the couch? Icaros could be the answer. Devised by German design company Hyve, the contraption is paired with a VR headset to bring physical activity to a virtual experience.

“You are balancing your centre of mass,” explains senior innovation designer Johannes Scholl, who came up with the idea for his industrial design diploma thesis in 2012. “When you are doing a steep decline, for example, it really goes into your shoulders, into your chest muscles. When you do left and right turns it is pretty exhausting to your abs and to your lower back muscles.”

Currently in its second incarnation, the Icaros prototype has recently returned from a digital convention in Berlin where around 50 volunteers put the machine through its paces. “All of them said ‘phew that’s really exhausting!’” says Scholl. Plans are now afoot to refine the device while the company moots a potential crowdfunding campaign. “One prototype is very, very expensive but what we are aiming at is that [the price] can compare to gym equipment you would normally buy for your home.”

With ocean dives, virtual gyms and interstellar flight among the scenarios being dreamed up, it might well have a sporting chance of catching on.

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