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Future Tech: 

VR home gym keeps you fit while you fly like icarus


“…and you’re sure this thing is safe, right?”

Since the heyday of Wii Fit and the dance mat, the idea of integrating home fitness into a gaming system has grown up. For proof, look no further than Hyve Icaros, which combines a home gym with virtual reality to bring your workout into surprising new locations, from the ocean floor to outer space.

If you remember Birdly, the design of Icaros won’t come as too much of a surprise. In fact, we joked at the time that Birdly looked like a bit of old school gym equipment, and Icaros takes that idea to its logical extension. Users are suspended horizontally and use primarily left/right and up/down movements, toning muscles as they go while improving balance and reflexes. Through repeated exercise users can tighten their movements and improve at the game.

Icaros developer Johannes Scholl describes this new kind of workout as – wait for it – “bodytainment” – an exercise that stimulates your mind as well as your body. Visual sense aligns with other senses, for example the faster the game’s movement the more intensive the exercise – getting the heart pumping and sending adrenaline to the brain.

Using the machine requires both a smartphone and a computer which sync together via an app to facilitate the virtual reality. The phone accelerometer measures your movements and relays the data to the Icaros game in order to generate the virtual environment.

The developers behind the project plan to start a crowdfunding campaign to make their mechanical death trap / virtual gaming experience available to the public. That’s coming this summer, so watch this space.

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