It was among the most admired novelties at 50th Ces of last January in Las Vegas, but after a few months Icaros VR, an equipment that connects fitness and virtual reality technology, seems to have already found its market, showing that Johannes Scholl and Michael Schmidt, two German startuppers who found Icaros GmbH, had the right idea to successfully start up.
200 Icaros VR already settled
During recent months already 200 gyms and fitness centers installed Icaros VR all around the world, from London to Tokyo, despite the equipment is not really cheap (according to Bloomberg, adding transport and other costs every machine can costs around 10 thousand dollars).
These numbers are so encouraging that Scholl and Schmidt already started the development of an home version of Icaros VR, far more cheaper (it should costs around 2 thousand dollars) whose launch on the market is scheduled by next year beginnings.
How to make fitness less boring
Other equipement like Icaros VR promise to resolve one of the problems taht from years have afflicted gyms and fitness centers: how to make gymnastic exercises less boring. According to its creators, combine the additive ability of the video games with virtual reality technology could be the correct solution.
They are not only the German startuppers to think in this way: american company VirZOOM planned to transforme cyclettes into virtual reality controllers that allow the users to ride horses or drive Formula One cars during their rides, while a Finnish augmented reality startup, added Bloomberg, overlays digital images onto rock-climbing walls, letting climbers play games while ascending.
The lesson of Pokemon Go
Other startups are developing applications to let people lose weight and to stay healty with home workouts built around VR archery, shooting and boxing games. The start to this proliferation of virtual reality workouts was, after all, the success (however ephemeral) gained last summer by Pokemon Go, which lead million of boys zig-zagging through neighborhoods and parks around the world in search of Pokemons using their smartphones in augmented reality mode.
By the way fitness experts are still skeptical, since this kind of high-tech gadgets seem to get traction enough only with those who exercise already, but it doesn’t seem to succeed in convincing those new in the game to start a regular fitness activity. So trying to trick the brain into doing something the body resists could not being the best solution, at the end.
The basic problem remains the motivation
That’s especially true because the intrinsic motivation in similar activities remains high only until the reward has been taken away. But once you collect all your Pokemons, or virtually drove all possible Formula One cars, or virtually won the box world championship, what’s the reason to exercise anything more?
Therefore who knows if will Icaros VR, for which Scholl and Schmidt are already thinking about developing a second generation machine for professional gyms (able, for example, to offer more intense cardio exercises and muscle-building), actually succeed to fly high for long or will it end with to fall to the ground as the homonym mythological character (and also Pokemon Go)?
In the months or in the years to come the answer: for now if you wanna keep up with virtual reality, augmented reality and geek technologies news and giveaways, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).