Exercising in VR, part 2

So how can we use VR to help motivate people to do healthful aerobic exercise right at their work desk? One approach is to figure out how to integrate the experience seamlessly into that space.

We’ve been experimenting with off-the-shelf below-desk pedal exercisers. To that we add another off-the-shelf device from VirZoom, a wireless device that straps onto one of the pedals, counts how many times the pedals go around, and sends that info to a computer. In the photo below, you can see that the VirZoom device is held on by a small purple strap:

deskscyle_with_virzoom

VirZoom has its own virtual reality software system, but instead of using theirs, at our lab we are experimenting with our own approach, using the Oculus Quest VR headset, preferably using the Oculus hand tracking option rather than controllers. The idea is to allow our students to create experiences that let people fly around in virtual worlds while playing all sorts of fun games together.

Imagine you and your friends taking a break from work in the middle of the day to play a healthful game of Quidditch. No actual brooms needed.

If this works out, maybe people will start exercising more. I know I will. :-)

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