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Virtual Reality Home Gym Means Bodybuilding on Different Planets

Why go to the gym when you can work out in outer space?
Images coutesy the designer

According to the 80% of Americans who fall short of the CDC's physical activity guidelines, working out is not ideal. But would that ab set be more bearable if you were doing it in outer space, or at the bottom of the ocean? That's the motivation behind Icarus, a virtual reality-enabled workout station created by German design firm HYVE to work seamlessly with a VR headset, simulating flying, rollercoasters, and deep sea dives all while burning calories and toning muscles.

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"Lots of people sign up in gyms or sports clubs, but quit after a few weeks. [Their] most common excuses are 'no time' and 'too boring,'" Johannes Scholl, HYVE's senior innovation desiger and exercise enthisiast, explains to The Creators Project. "On the other hand, there are lots of people who love gaming on consoles, smartphones and PCs that have a guilty conscience when they realize they have spent their entire weekend on their sofas."

"The huge advantage of our system is that the information of your visual sense, coming from the VR headset, is in line with the other senses," he continues. The simple design works on balance alone, with accelerometers sending your movements within the machine into the virtual world, effectively tricking your brain into beliving the virtual scenarios designed by HYVE's companion animation studio, Lumacode. "When you are doing a steep descent in VR you are also doing it in reality, blood rushes into your head and you are sucked into the virtual environment. This enables people to stay in virtual worlds longer, without getting 'simulator sick.'"

With a battery of concepts, trial runs, interviews with bodybuilders, and focus groups ongoing since 2012, HYVE's marriage of a guilty pleasure with a guilty failure of willpower is finally ready to begin crowdfunding this coming summer. Au revoir, bodybuilder.

See more of HYVE's projects, including new skateboard and longboard tools, on their website.

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