I always thought the next big use cases for VR outside of gaming will be social, productivity, and education.
Last summer, I installed Box VR on my Oculus Quest and now I think fitness is a uniquely great use case for VR.
Before that, I never liked working out. Since working out in VR, I do it almost every day. Playing Box VR every day quickly got boring, so currently I alternate between Box VR, The Thrill of the Fight, and Knockout League. They all offer a good cardio and core workout and make me actually look forward to doing it. I hope I’m not turning into one those fitness freaks that go running at 5am every morning.
Anyways. This, of course, is just a personal anecdote. But let’s look at it more objectively to see why I believe that VR fitness will be important.
VR makes working out more fun. Hitting those blobs in Box VR as they come toward you (kind of like Beat Saber) with the right type of punch is just more fun then shadow boxing the air in front of you like a maniac. In The Thrill of the Fight, time just passes more quickly when you’re trying not to get hit in the face by the 2 meter tall scary dude in front of you.
VR makes working out more precise. Undoubtedly, all the home work out videos on the internet had a great impact on people’s fitness, too. However, they miss the feedback aspect - they can’t tell if you’re doing it right or wrong. In VR, this is already better because it can tell if you just threw a jab or upper cut (yes, you should be impressed by my boxing jargon), or if you squatted or not. Obviously, it can’t tell if you did the squat right, but we’ll get there.
VR makes working out significantly cheaper. All you need is a $399 Quest and a $10-$30 app. You don’t need to have a gym membership or pay a personal trainer. “But”, you whine, “a personal trainer is much better than a VR app”. No shit, Sherlock? However, VR still gives you some feedback, is more fun than hanging out with a jacked dude, and costs considerably less.
But the biggest impact of VR on fitness is the same impact VR has on all areas: It’s an equalizer. It let’s you do stuff that you couldn’t do before or not at the same convenience and price point. Be it watching a movie on a huge ass theater screen, taking a virtual trip to a Smithsonian museum or the ISS, hanging out with your friends, learning about electrical engineering or punching another dude in the face for the sake of working out.
Let know what you think on this Twitter thread.