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VR Exercise Bike (VirZoom)

dinorogerdinoroger Posts: 196
Art3mis
edited February 2016 in General
http://virzoom.com/

So I tried the VirZoom at Pax South 2016 this weekend. While the games were no AAA titles they still made me forget I was exercising. So I decided to take the risk and purchase one and now I must wait until it ships sometime in Q1.

So here is my pros and cons without having the bike yet but from just testing it:

Pros:
- Makes me forget that I am exercising
- There should be allot of different types of games since they looked fairly basic (basic is a pro and a con).
- Works on the big 3 HMD's (Oculus, Vive, PS4)
- I am a bigger guy and the bike felt comfortable. The seat was a wide seat and not one of those bike seats that you insert into you (TMI).
- I get to lose real mass in a virtual world.
- Looks like they will have a SDK so other companies may create content or adapt current software to it.
- Some games are multi-player so the competitive edge may make you pedal harder.
- Light, portable and Bluetooth, so setup looks to be easy.

Cons:
- The game demos felt like tablet type games running on VR.
- Games may get boring quicker than normal games.
- Someone having a heart attack while using your product may not be good press (this goes for an exercise equipment though).
- I could see the sweat making my HMD get a little nasty. Thank goodness Oculus will have replacements pads.
- The heat in the HMD may be trapped causing fog. Going to see if this will be a true problem and if so are there any like diving goggle sprays that would help.
- Like my other exercise bike this may end up collecting dust if I can't self motivate.

I am a consumer and this post is not trying to sell this (I have no links to VirZoom). This is a discussion mainly on VR exercise equipment in general.

So what are your thoughts on using VR for exercise.
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Comments

  • Sounds awesome. I live in Seattle, where it always rains, so this VR exercise bike would be ideal for me. I get soo bored on my current stationary bike, even if I am watching TV. I hope it comes to PAX prime! I'll check it out then.
  • LionrezaLionreza Posts: 68
    Hiro Protagonist
    in theory this is a good idea. in practice holy shit is your HMD going to be drenched in sweat. Sweat is such a problem when on a stationary trainer they make thongs to protect your bike from corrosive sweat http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cycleops-bike-thong-sweat-guard/rp-prod39535?gs=1&gclid=Cj0KEQiAxMG1BRDFmu3P3qjwmeMBEiQAEzSDLjHv5-oxW3qOgsyty5R_Tif3qH8f1D-4lKeFzNmRXyoaAtZg8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds i imagine this will be much worse for your HMD than it is for your bike
  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 92
    Hiro Protagonist
    Lionreza wrote:
    in theory this is a good idea. in practice holy shit is your HMD going to be drenched in sweat. Sweat is such a problem when on a stationary trainer they make thongs to protect your bike from corrosive sweat http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cycleops-bike-thong-sweat-guard/rp-prod39535?gs=1&gclid=Cj0KEQiAxMG1BRDFmu3P3qjwmeMBEiQAEzSDLjHv5-oxW3qOgsyty5R_Tif3qH8f1D-4lKeFzNmRXyoaAtZg8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds i imagine this will be much worse for your HMD than it is for your bike

    Exactly, there is no way in hell this will work unless your not really working out
  • dinorogerdinoroger Posts: 196
    Art3mis
    HMD condom needed.
  • The sweat problem is exactly what I thought when I read the title.

    In my living room, I have a trainer and a bike placed right in front of my tv. I ride 7 days a week, 45 mins a day, with an average speed of 19mph, average cadence of 80, and average heart rate of 140. By the end of my ride, my sweat band is soaked through and dripping, and there is a 1.5 foot wide puddle on the ground. (I have faux wood boards covered in a rubber sweat mat)

    If you are serious about losing weight, you don't need a VR game to help you. You need to get serious, then cardio AND diet.

    I can't stress the cardio AND dieting part. It take both to LOSE weight.

    So as someone who likes VR and exercises regularly, I wouldn't ever consider buying this.
  • jxburrosjxburros Posts: 124
    Art3mis
    boggie1688 wrote:
    The sweat problem is exactly what I thought when I read the title.

    In my living room, I have a trainer and a bike placed right in front of my tv. I ride 7 days a week, 45 mins a day, with an average speed of 19mph, average cadence of 80, and average heart rate of 140. By the end of my ride, my sweat band is soaked through and dripping, and there is a 1.5 foot wide puddle on the ground. (I have faux wood boards covered in a rubber sweat mat)

    If you are serious about losing weight, you don't need a VR game to help you. You need to get serious, then cardio AND diet.

    I can't stress the cardio AND dieting part. It take both to LOSE weight.

    So as someone who likes VR and exercises regularly, I wouldn't ever consider buying this.

    If everyone wasn't 100% right about the sweat, I'd totally buy one.

    Also, don't judge people for their different methods for losing weight and/or getting healthy (losing weight is not the only reason to exercise.) To be honest, anything that can help people get active is a good thing in my book.
    VRgin - CV1 (March shipment)
  • BloodletBloodlet Posts: 736
    3Jane
    I think I'll throw this in the same bin as the omni, under the heading of great ideas I really couldn't be arsed with. ;)
  • roadczarroadczar Posts: 70
    Hiro Protagonist
    jxburros wrote:
    If everyone wasn't 100% right about the sweat, I'd totally buy one.

    Also, the device itself seems too low quality for a serious trainer.
  • buz11buz11 Posts: 13
    NerveGear
    edited February 2016
    Eric from VirZoom here!

    We're positioning our bike and games for gamers that want to move through large VR worlds and get some exercise doing it. The effort you put in actually makes the movement (particularly flying) feel more real, and we've solved some hard problems in motion control to keep your inner ear in balance.

    It does make you sweat when you play at higher resistance settings, but we haven't found that to be any more of a problem in VR than real life, and you can always dial it down. We view it as half awesome VR controller and half exercise equipment, but are in talks to make a more rugged (and expensive) version for gyms, offices, and serious home use.

    We can honestly say that it always exceeds the expectations of people that try it. Which is why we're taking it to so many shows and can't wait to start shipping in Q2. We're also starting to roll out new tank, helicopter, motorcycle, and dragonfly experiences so if you've seen us before, come see us again.
  • dinorogerdinoroger Posts: 196
    Art3mis
    roadczar wrote:
    jxburros wrote:
    If everyone wasn't 100% right about the sweat, I'd totally buy one.

    Also, the device itself seems too low quality for a serious trainer.

    I doubt you will find a serious trainer for $200.
  • helifrekhelifrek Posts: 114
    Hiro Protagonist
    A couple of fans towards your head ( you know, to simulate wind.....) and a sweatband and your in business. But for the sake of not ruining a $600 set of vr goggles I would much rather play this on a large monitor or my projector.
    Will any games be developed to work on a monitor?

    I remember there was this game back in the day in an arcade where you would pedal a bike to fly a virtual bike with wings and a prop on the back of it. I like this concept, pedal powered aircraft...... or a pedal powered submarine would be cool. I would buy one, maybe two if the wife likes it!
    i5-6600k, 980 ti, Asus Z170 Pro Gaming, 16Gb RAM. Whoohoooo!!!!! finally all built and running!
    CV1 pre-ordered (July)
  • LionrezaLionreza Posts: 68
    Hiro Protagonist
    There is all-ready a game out like that called Zwift
  • Arjo5Arjo5 Posts: 7
    Please I need help... I dont find where can i start a new topic and i want to know how can i Upload a VR app into the oculus share platform...

    Can someone please help me?

    Tx
  • jxburros wrote:
    boggie1688 wrote:
    The sweat problem is exactly what I thought when I read the title.

    In my living room, I have a trainer and a bike placed right in front of my tv. I ride 7 days a week, 45 mins a day, with an average speed of 19mph, average cadence of 80, and average heart rate of 140. By the end of my ride, my sweat band is soaked through and dripping, and there is a 1.5 foot wide puddle on the ground. (I have faux wood boards covered in a rubber sweat mat)

    If you are serious about losing weight, you don't need a VR game to help you. You need to get serious, then cardio AND diet.

    I can't stress the cardio AND dieting part. It take both to LOSE weight.

    So as someone who likes VR and exercises regularly, I wouldn't ever consider buying this.

    If everyone wasn't 100% right about the sweat, I'd totally buy one.

    Also, don't judge people for their different methods for losing weight and/or getting healthy (losing weight is not the only reason to exercise.) To be honest, anything that can help people get active is a good thing in my book.

    Well I got the impression that the OP wanted to lose a few pounds. And I'm honestly not judging. I'm just saying if you really are motivated, you don't need a VR toy to help you. I was also pointing out that weight loss cannot happen effectively without dieting. You need both to see real loss. Advice from someone who has lost 30 lbs, and kept it off for 3 years.

    Maintaining body weight, requires diligence, dedication, and determination. Of which, you cannot lose or stop, because you will only revert. If your head isnt the right place, you body won't keep the results. To simply put it, it is a lifestyle change. You need more than just an oculus and virzoom to accomplish that.
    dinoroger wrote:
    roadczar wrote:
    jxburros wrote:
    If everyone wasn't 100% right about the sweat, I'd totally buy one.

    Also, the device itself seems too low quality for a serious trainer.

    I doubt you will find a serious trainer for $200.

    http://www.amazon.com/Blackburn-Tech-Ma ... B00EOWLL2G

    Killer trainer, highly portable, and quiet. I've had this for 3 years and put over 10 thousand miles on it.
  • I think the sweat problem is not an issue. It's not stopping the 10,000 people from preordering the Virtuix Omni and I think you would sweat way more in that thing. I think the virzoom would be a much more convenient and practical way to get a little exercise and game in a whole new way. I'm not looking to get super fit and crank out two hours a day on it. I had a lot of fun playing with the Wii fit and Kinect games when they came along and I expect this will be too. Hopefully there will be tons of new games in the pipeline to keep it enjoyable.
  • buz11buz11 Posts: 13
    NerveGear
    edited February 2016
    Some helpful differences between VirZoom and Zwift:

    - Virzoom games are built from the ground up for VR. Zwift doesn't make games for VR

    - Virzoom is about anything you can pedal power, like tanks, helicopters, horses, race cars, etc. Zwift is about bicycling along roads with training routines.

    - Virzoom's portable bike is a full game controller with dpad, buttons, and triggers in addition to accurate forward and backward speed, heartrate, and resistance measurements. Zwift uses your own bike with a trainer and add-on cadence sensor (which cost more and do less)

    - You steer in Virzoom by leaning, which is natural and safe on its customized base. Zwift automatically steers you, and has said no to VR because it's unsafe to lean on a trainer

    - Current and future VirZoom games will be free, a membership just adds value. Zwift requires a membership.

    - Virzoom's SDK is also free and solves VR locomotion to explore large worlds comfortably. Zwift could use it to support VR and Virzoom bikes

    Btw a $30 fan works great to reduce sweat and add realism.
  • buz11buz11 Posts: 13
    NerveGear
    helifrek wrote:
    Will any games be developed to work on a monitor?
    Not by us, though our SDK could support that

    We believe the transformative power of VR is what motivates you in VirZoom. Our games are made to take full advantage of looking around and head movement for steering and gameplay. We're no strangers to custom controllers or physical gameplay either, having developed Antigrav, Guitar Hero, Rockband, and Dance Central.
  • w_benjaminw_benjamin Posts: 189
    Art3mis
    Do the pedals use magnet sensors or does it use something with a constant voltage, like a joystick does?
  • dinorogerdinoroger Posts: 196
    Art3mis
    Another technical question. Does the SDK support backwards peddling? I would be highly motivated to pedal my virtual pedal kayak away from that hungry alligator.
  • buz11buz11 Posts: 13
    NerveGear
    edited February 2016
    w_benjamin wrote:
    Do the pedals use magnet sensors or does it use something with a constant voltage, like a joystick does?
    Hey that's secret, at least until we ship and people open them up. Spoiler: they use magnets!

    Over a year ago, our first prototype used an IR sensor that read pieces of tape passing by a rear wheel on a trainer, turning it into a giant optical encoder. That gave great results but wasn't practical to install and relied on a trainer. We then tried a wireless accelerometer on the hub and, alternately, pedal crank when the hub wasn't accessible on stationary bikes. That wasn't able to measure slow pedaling well, and was hard to fit every bike unless we used coin cells which would need regular replacing. Magnets work like our optical encoder but are even more reliable and built right into our pedaling resistance mechanism.
  • buz11buz11 Posts: 13
    NerveGear
    dinoroger wrote:
    Another technical question. Does the SDK support backwards peddling? I would be highly motivated to pedal my virtual pedal kayak away from that hungry alligator.
    Yes it does, and thanks for the game idea! That really is the kind of fight or flight thing that we're going for to motivate pedaling. Reverse pedaling also works well for our tank game.
  • LionrezaLionreza Posts: 68
    Hiro Protagonist
    will the software support Ant + for those of us who already own a bike and trainer ?
  • ThreeDeeVisionThreeDeeVision Posts: 2,087
    Wintermute
    There will need to be a special HMD for exercising or it will not work. Unless you are so fit you no longer sweat while working out (then what is the point). You will need massive air flow to make sure your sweat doesn't condensate on the lenses. I have fogged my DK2 up using it too soon after walking home from work, so I could just imagine how quickly it would fog if I was exercising while wearing one.

    Love the idea, but the technology isn't there yet. I bet they make an 'active' HMD model eventually though with massive airflow and materials that will play nice with sweat.
    i7 5960X @ 3.8 GHz | Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 PC2800 | GTX Titan X Pascal | Win 10 64 bit | Asus ROG PG348Q | EVGA X99 Classified
  • buz11buz11 Posts: 13
    NerveGear
    edited February 2016
    Lionreza wrote:
    will the software support Ant + for those of us who already own a bike and trainer ?
    No, for some reasons I've mentioned. Manuevering your VR avatar on a bike generates a leaning response in many people which is not safe on a trainer. A trainer+bike has a triangular footprint like a tripod while our footprint is like a car, and we've widened our stance for added safety.

    We've also added a bunch of buttons and sensors our games use that we couldn't practically add to existing stationary bikes. It was cheaper and more reliable to make our own bike and it'll fit into more people's living rooms. Not to mention that it's quiet--we experimented with a lot of trainers and all of them generate too much noise to hear your game without blasting the volume.

    Our preorder special is $200 for the bike including all games and membership features for life. We think it's a pretty good deal even if you already have an exercise bike.
  • buz11buz11 Posts: 13
    NerveGear
    There will need to be a special HMD for exercising or it will not work. Unless you are so fit you no longer sweat while working out (then what is the point). You will need massive air flow to make sure your sweat doesn't condensate on the lenses. I have fogged my DK2 up using it too soon after walking home from work, so I could just imagine how quickly it would fog if I was exercising while wearing one.

    Love the idea, but the technology isn't there yet. I bet they make an 'active' HMD model eventually though with massive airflow and materials that will play nice with sweat.
    I also fog up motorcycle helmets and my DK2, but a $6 bottle of "Spit" goggle spray eliminates that. One squirt and it doesn't fog for days.

    And you and I seem to be the exception. More than 2000 people have broken a sweat on VirZOOM at shows, and nobody ever fogs them up. That includes the tens of alpha testers who have been playing our games at home since August and logged thousands of virtual miles.

    We look forward to HMDs being ever lighter and airier, but VZ already works great with this years headsets. This post highlights the lightness, removable foam, and lack of fogging of the latest Rift beta

    viewtopic.php?f=26&t=28601&p=314960&hilit=fogging#p314960

    The Vive and PSVR also never fog for me like the DK2, and the PSVR doesn't even touch your face or absorb sweat. If it's still a concern, a $30 standing fan further eliminates those problems and keeps you cool.
  • helifrekhelifrek Posts: 114
    Hiro Protagonist
    Is there any chance that this could be used with other games. I am mainly interested in flying games. If I could use it for something like Microsoft fsx and build custom pedal powered craft, that would be really cool.
    i5-6600k, 980 ti, Asus Z170 Pro Gaming, 16Gb RAM. Whoohoooo!!!!! finally all built and running!
    CV1 pre-ordered (July)
  • jademanjademan Posts: 268
    Nexus 6
    Just thought I'd share another (likely much more expensive) VR bike option I found for those interested:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxSpWZjn3eg

    Now I just need a winning lotto ticket & a bigger basement. I know I need a walking/running sim (Omni), motion-sim race seat, flight seat, motorcycle, and now bicycle seat... And OF COURSE that Birdly sim machine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyJ2BC3-v3Y)...

    Good thing I never had kids! I like being one way too much.
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,705 Volunteer Moderator
    VR exercise is inviting, but apart from the sweat problem... the price of the setup probably exceeds the price of a really really good bike.

    I like all things VR... flying a jet plane isn't an option in the real world.. and shooting real people isn't something I want to get into... but bike rides? well I have to think for some things it's good to get out of the house and do it for real
    Intel 5820K [email protected], Titan X (Maxwell), 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v1903 (18363.720)
  • przecinekprzecinek Posts: 596
    Nexus 6
    I've seen interview with HHG and I'm hopeful. I wouldnt get hung up on the whole exercising aspect, it's more of a controller than an excecise bike.
    As others have pointed out it's no different from ODTs when you're running for your life etc. If you want realism ...you will sweat regardless ;)
  • buz11buz11 Posts: 13
    NerveGear
    helifrek wrote:
    Is there any chance that this could be used with other games. I am mainly interested in flying games. If I could use it for something like Microsoft fsx and build custom pedal powered craft, that would be really cool.
    We're releasing a free-to-use SDK for it, so other games can incorporate our bike data and even motion controls.

    We'll also be making more flying games, they feel great on VirZOOM. Our current two are based on a pegasus and an apache helicopter.
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