Your bike ride and spin class are going to be changed forever thanks to virtual reality. An Italy-based team has developed a new innovative product that combines the Oculus Rift with a responsive bike. The result is a cycling machine that allows you to ride in a variety of different environments and terrains, while never actually leaving your home. The options range from midtown Manhattan to a secluded mountain path to even the streets of Tokyo.
The best feature of the entire product is known as Widerun. Widerun allows the user to use their existing bike instead of purchasing a inconvenient stationary bike. Widerun has a unique docking system, which accommodates your outside, everyday bike. The docking system utilizes an embedded micro-controller to simulate steering, speed and the overall resistance effects depending on the specific virtual environment that you would select. If you select a mountain path the effects will be much different than if you picked a main street in a popular city.
The system also functions with a widescreen television or with the Samsung Gear VR. By hooking the system up to a television, you get to experience a window into where you are biking.
The team that developed the product also has their own environment store, where users can purchase a variety of biking scenarios to add to their virtual reality experience. The project currently has a Kickstarter funding goal of around $40,000. The kits themselves cost around $400 with delivery expected in April of 2016.
Only time will tell how users respond to this product, but the initial idea is very exciting. The best way to find out how well this product works is by experiencing it for yourself. At the very least, this idea will provide an engaging way to enhance the rather boring, monotonous spin classes. The fact that you can cycle anywhere in the world from your own home is exciting enough to get people talking and to convince them to try it out. The future of virtual reality looks very promising!