Virtual Reality Bike

Virtual Reality Bike is an indoor exercising bike that operates based on virtual reality technology. Basically, users wear a virtual reality gadget for vision purposes while riding on a stationary bike that has a variety of control features and different angles. This is to ensure that the user will have a pleasant experience that might spark their interest or motivation to exercise in an enjoyable way. This technology is designed to fulfil the needs of retiree, people who can hardly find time to exercise, sports lovers and demotivated people.

According to Shanklin (2016), biking in virtual reality utilising the head mounted display (HMD), allows the users to experience different visual displays that enables them to ride and exercise longer. It is set up to simulate different existing environment and with the assistance of advanced GPS, users might not want to leave their house anymore as they are able to really feel every aspects of terrain from rocky hills to smooth grass (Goldhar et al; 2016). As such, users are able to simulate any kind of environments they wish to ride in. For instance, users can simulate riding from Manhattan to a mountain path or from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. This technology allows users to sweat without physically stepping out of their home.

oculus-rift-masina-exercitii

(Source: gizmag. Image by Will Shanklin)

Besides that, the inventors of Virtual Reality Bike discover a breakthrough in bikes as they developed road bikes into stationary virtual reality indoor bike that allows its users to feel the effort of every pedal stroke (Chen et al; 2015). This in turn promotes a real training experience for its users (Chen et al; 2015). Initially, this may seem to be fun. However, user may feel boring when they always ride alone as time passes. Hence, the inventors, being wary of this issue, developed a multiplayer virtual environment that is similar to the “Massively Multiplayer Online Game”. This invention enables its users to have fun and exercise with one another while simulating the physicality amongst players. This will promote long term motivation, peaked intensity and also the health of its users (Raymond, 2016). Moreover, riders are able to communicate through their microphones while they compete in an online three dimensional simulated world (Lang, 2015). Therefore, users do not have to fear of losing interest as they can interact and compete with friends online.

paperdude+vr (Source: polygon. Image by Michael McWhertor)

Additionally, Bruno (2015) states that the Virtual Reality Bike can also be used as a cardio fitness training that promotes a healthy lifestyle. This Virtual Reality Bike helps generate a fun, enjoyable and motivational experience which is suitable to be catered to people who lack information on fitness centres, have transportation issues or people who have no idea to workout (Mestre, 2011). Therefore, this technology has a variety of function that allows it users to simulate the video game as multiplayer competition, training, smart trainers and classic trainers. Not only that, users can also compare power meters and best times virtually anywhere in the world which really spice up the experience of riding the virtual reality bike.

Although the Virtual Reality Bike is undeniably user-friendly platform that enables people to exercise without any hassle, it comes with a price (Fulgaz, 2016). This Virtual Reality Bike is costly as users need to purchase a VR headset, base equipment for holding the bike stationary, steering system, the bike as others (Saris, 2016). Therefore, the cost incurred will definitely be high. However, as the VR bike bring to its users countless benefits, it is quite a reasonable trade.

Peddle3                 (Source: shockmansion. Image by Unknown)

In conclusion, users do not have to worry about the environment as they can simulate it at will compared to the reality where users could not ride in rainy weather. This provides a much more convenient alternative to people who wish to exercise on a hazardous weather. With that said, it also improves the motivation and entertainment aspect of its users which leave its users yearning to exercise and compete more frequently with their friends.

Written by: Ng Kar Wy 14023725

Reference:

Saris. (2016). CycleOps. [online] Available at: http://www.cycleops.com/virtualtraining/overview [Accessed 26 May 2016].

Trainer, F., Types, R., Trainers, W., Trainers, F., Trainers, M., Trainers, E., Trainers, M., Trainers, D., Guides, T., Trainers, U., £200, B., Types, D., 2015, B., Review, B., Trainer, B. and Offers, D. (2015). Best Virtual Reality Turbo Trainer 2015 Review. [online] Turbobiketrainer.com. Available at: http://turbobiketrainer.com/best-virtual-reality-turbo-trainer-2015-review/ [Accessed 26 May 2016].

Wong, R. (2016). VirZoom VR exercise bike: Cool at first, if you can deal with the nausea [REVIEW]. [online] Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2016/02/16/virzoom-vr-bike-review/ [Accessed 29 May 2016].

Strange, A. (2015). This virtual reality system takes your cycling workouts to the streets. [online] Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2015/04/12/virtual-reality-fitness-bicycle-spin-class/#GL8XVFi8u8qo [Accessed 26 May 2016].

Chen, C., Fong, J., Jung, T. and Chi, J. (2015). Study of Interactive Bike Simulator in Application of Virtual Reality. Journal of the Chinese Society of Mechanical Engineers, 28(6), pp.633-640.

Albergotti, R. (2014). Zwift Is Trying to Turn Indoor Cycling Into Virtual Reality. [online] WSJ. Available at: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/09/30/zwift-is-trying-to-turn-indoor-cycling-into-virtual-reality/ [Accessed 26 May 2016].

Yanman!. (2016). A VR Cycling Experience for $40. [online] Available at: https://pauldyan.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/my-vr-bike/ [Accessed 26 May 2016].

Mestre, D., Dagonneau, V. and Mercier, C. (2011). Does Virtual Reality Enhance Exercise Performance, Enjoyment, and Dissociation? An Exploratory Study on a Stationary Bike Apparatus. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 20(1), pp.1-14.

Golhar, P., Kulkarni, T., Khedkar, D. and Pathak, N. (2016). Virtual Reality Application for Cycling. International Journal of Advanced Research, 3(1), p.47.

Shanklin, W. (2016). This VR exercise bike makes sweating buckets feel like riding a Pegasus (hands-on). [online] Gizmag.com. Available at: http://www.gizmag.com/virzoom-review-exercise-bike-vr-hands-on/41259/ [Accessed 29 May 2016].

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