How Virtual Reality, Gaming and Wearables are Reshaping Fitness
by Salem Hasseni
In today’s fitness landscape, companies are revolutionising the way people engage in sports. Through innovative technologies, they’re making exercise more enjoyable and accessible. From interactive home workouts to virtual sports experiences, these advancements motivate individuals to embrace a healthier lifestyle. By blending entertainment with fitness, these companies are encouraging people to stay active, whether in the comfort of their homes or in unconventional settings. The result is a shift towards a more engaging and inclusive approach to physical activity, fostering a culture where staying fit is both fun and convenient. This innovation snapshot highlights three companies leading innovation in the Fitness Tech space.
MyWhoosh is an indoor cycling app based in the UAE, offering virtual worlds, training plans, and racing features. Developed with a focus on increasing fitness and sports activity in the Middle East, particularly the UAE, the app is currently free, backed by the government of the UAE. MyWhoosh has created virtual worlds like AlUla and Arabia, with plans for additional worlds in Colombia, Australia, and Belgium. The app, available on iOS, Android, and Windows (with Mac and Apple TV in development), boasts a unique LED booth gimmick and partnerships with entities like Team UAE Emirates. Structured training plans, designed by pro cycling figure Kevin Poulton, offer flexibility, allowing users to join mid-plan. The app supports group rides and weekly racing events with substantial prize purses. Users can customise their virtual kit and bike (limited to Colnago).
FitXR is a virtual reality fitness app designed for the Meta Quest and Pico VR platforms. Offering an intense and gamified workout experience, FitXR features 10 trainers and five workout types, including Box, Sculpt, Combat, HIIT, and Dance, with the added bonus of online multiplayer. The workouts are diverse, ranging from boxing routines to music-led rhythm exercises. FitXR’s subscription-based model comes with a monthly cost of $10 or an annual rate of $84.The app’s user interface places users in a minimalistic personal gym, and it allows for individual profiles per account, making it suitable for households with multiple users. FitXR encourages competition among users through a scoring system and offers online multiplayer for virtual workout classes in real-time. The app also has a companion mobile app for tracking progress and setting goals. Overall, FitXR is a cost-effective, competitive, and diverse VR fitness option for users seeking engaging workouts.
Quell is a London-based fitness tech company offering a unique approach to home workouts through its Impact fitness platform. Using gamification, Quell combines gaming and exercise by integrating resistance bands into a gaming experience. The Quell wearable connects to different games, syncing users’ movements with on-screen avatars while tracking speed, accuracy, endurance, and power. The wearable includes controllers, a chest unit, belt, wrist wraps, and resistance bands optimised for effective workouts tailored to various fitness levels. The gaming controllers feature advanced accelerometers and gyroscopes for precise movement replication and progress tracking. The resistance bands, secured by wrist wraps, provide a challenging and natural workout. The platform promises customizable resistance, motion recognition, live heart-rate monitoring, and haptic feedback for a full-body, high-intensity workout with an immersive gaming experience.
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