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immersive fitness

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Immersive fitness is technology enhanced exercise that typically includes simulated virtual reality (VR) audio/visual experiences and performance metrics.

With metrics and simulations of exciting competitive environments, immersive fitness stimulates and motivates the exerciser. Progress is readily displayed through data that can include speed, distance traveled, time and contrast with records such as personal bests. Immersive fitness is used as to draw people into signing up for gym memberships and to keep them coming back for a rewarding and unique fitness experience.

Augmented reality (AR), VR headsets, projection screens and audio systems, all driven by a computer, are commonly used to achieve simulations of stimulating scenarios, such as competitive running or biking races. Specially designed bicycle resistance trainers that integrate into computer systems have offered immersive fitness for years. Exercise cycles like those made by exercise equipment and media company Peloton include integrated immersive fitness features such as a 24” sweat-proof touch screen and audio system. Personal and at-home immersive fitness technology uses immersive VR such as VR gaming and motion gaming systems such as Nintendo Wii and Microsoft’s Kinect for X-Box. Wearable technology such as fitness trackers and smart clothing can also create an engaging workout experience.

An example of immersive fitness used on a larger scale is the popular national gym franchise 24 Hour Fitness. Their Santa Monica location in California is one of the first dedicated immersive fitness gyms. In spin sessions, exercisers on stationary bicycles regularly experience competitive thrills such as being a part of a stage of the Tour de France. They also offer more fantastical experiences such as biking in a futuristic city or up the side of a massive iceberg.

This was last updated in July 2019

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