We’re on the cusp of one of the biggest changes in personal workout trends in years. This is not because of some hot new program or a shift in philosophy about how we should exercise. Rather, it’s a result of emerging and improving technologies, and the creative new ways in which they’re being integrated with workout machines.
Here, specifically, are five tech-based workouts that could be very popular in the near future.
1 – Workouts With Live Tracking
Back in August, a story surfaced about an augmented reality program designed to monitor the wearer’s status and “count points,” among other things. The idea is for you to wear a special pair of AR glasses that give you two options. First, you can continue to see the real world in front of you, complete with a sort of virtual board of workout stats. Alternatively, you can opt to enter total VR in which case a game emerges – the example provided being that each rep of a weightlifting routine could fend off advancing zombies (though this seems like it could potentially lead to bad habits).
2 – AR-Based Competitions
Naturally, you could make a competition out of the technology just written about above. However, a simpler way to compete via AR-based exercise has recently emerged as well. It’s a mobile app called AR Runner that, with a compatible Android or iOS device, can present digital markers for runners to touch during a training routine. The app can time your progress through different markers such that you’re always looking to set records, top friends’ scores, etc. – and all you need is a phone.
3 – Home Cycling Classes
You may have noticed ads for something called Peloton lately, because they appear to be everywhere lately. Basically, it’s a company that ships you a home exercise bike with its own tablet mounted on it, and access to all kinds of classes. It’s a great idea, but it’s also plain to see that VR can take things further. As one writer put it when discussing VR in gaming, it’s doing something which can’t be done in real life that’ll appeal to a lot of players. Peloton opens the door to top-notch versions of a class you could take at a local gym. But a VR headset could take you somewhere you don’t have a realistic shot at going anytime soon – a famous road or course all the way across the world, where you can cycle to your heart’s content.
4 – The Icaros Game
Icaros may be our first example of a brand new fitness machine being build specifically with VR in mind. It’s not an app or a twist on an existing piece of equipment, but rather a whole new apparatus you strap yourself into, such that you’re parallel to the floor, facing down, with your arms forward and holding onto control sticks. Referring to the human desire to fly and our enjoyment of games, Icaros promises to combine both of these desires in a single machine. Basically, it’s a game that you play by manipulating your body in ways that strategically exercise the body.
5 – VR-Based Climbing Machines
We should also note that climbing machines are becoming more popular. There’s a whole range of products, from under-$100 to several thousand dollars, that allow people to simulate climbing motions in their homes (or at their gyms). And while these motions don’t exactly mimic what you actually do when you’re climbing a rock formation or something of the like, it’s still easy to imagine VR making it feel like you’re out in the world adventuring. It’s the same concept as what we discussed for cycling, but with climbing machines.