In light of the on-going Covid-19 crisis, people around the world are being encouraged to stay indoors. Many leisure facilities and gyms around the world are closed for the foreseeable future, leaving many people wondering how their health and wellbeing will deteriorate during this period. All hope, however, is not lost. Combining virtual reality (VR) with fitness, staying fit indoors is easier than ever.
VR gym equipment
VR equipment, such as VR treadmills, bicycles and rowing machines, are now widely available and make staying fit in your own home more accessible than ever. Multiple cardio options are available, including treadmills in the standard equipment shape with accompanying eyewear. Alternatively, treadmills are also available in the form of motion platforms to give the highest VR motion quality.
What are the benefits of VR exercising?
During the lockdown, VR equipment gives users the chance to experience the outside world in a safe and confined location. Even post-lockdown, the VR functionality will still be incredibly useful as it will allow users to cycle, run and row in locations around the world that they may not be able to experience otherwise. For example, using a VR headset on a rowing machine will allow users to experience rowing outdoors during adverse weather conditions that prevent them from being physically outside.
Many people find running and jogging a mundane activity and quickly lose their motivation to exercise on a treadmill regularly. With VR treadmills, however, users can play games while running (e.g. collect all the gold coins in a virtual world) which helps to distract and entertain them as they are keeping fit.
Many people use exercise to relieve daily stress and have a moment of escapism from everyday tasks and duties. VR exercise can enhance the level of escapism felt from exercising to a new level. Users will be able to leave the real world behind and explore news lands while focusing on their wellbeing.
VR machines are also complete with the latest technology to help users monitor their time, heart rate and how many miles they have completed—allowing users to track their progress more efficiently and maintain health goals even in difficult times.
How VR could change the travel and tourism industry
While people may not be cancelling their plans abroad to go on VR adventures just yet, VR is still steadily changing the travel industry as we know it. Here’s how…
When people book luxury holidays, they want to have complete reassurance they are booking a resort that is high-quality and looks as good as advertised. VR can help customers see where they will be staying through virtual hotel and resort tours. Taking a customer on an in-depth virtual tour of their accommodation will ensure they are happy with the standard of accommodation and won’t have any issues with the place once they arrive.
Many travel agencies could begin to use VR to help sell experiences. For example, if they are hoping to sell La Sagrada Familia tickets to a family booking a trip to Barcelona, they may be able to provide a sample La Sagrada Familia VR experience. Although this may not compare to seeing the real thing, it will entice the family booking the holiday to want to see the church for themselves, in person.
When booking a holiday, many people like to feel as though they are getting a unique, personal experience. For this reason, we can expect to see an increase in VR holiday bookings through a VR headset. If an individual owns a VR headset, they will be able to preview hotel rooms and holiday experiences from the comfort of their home and eliminate the need to visit a travel agent.
Will VR ever replace the travel industry entirely?
Experts predict that by 2023, 2% of the world will have access to VR headsets, which suggests the popularity and availability of VR travel could increase. For VR to truly replace physical journeys, however, VR technology will have to continue to advance to create an experience that is equal or greater to travelling and exploring locations in real life. Until this happens, it is unlikely VR will be running the travel and tourism industry out of business.
A variety of other industries
VR has recently come to the forefront of gaming technology. With PC gamers and console players alike coming to discover the wonders of virtual reality, the technology is gradually becoming more mainstream to the point that there are rumours of the next generation of gaming consoles fully embracing the technology. Virtual reality provides a significant opportunity that hasn’t been seen before, not only for gaming but for a variety of other industries too.
This may seem to be the obvious industry, but VR could seriously rock the entertainment world in years to come. The first triple-A title, Half-Life: Alyx, has come out to major plaudits and innovations can only keep the quality rising from here. Aside from gaming, there is a big opportunity for film and television. True immersion could be on the cards, putting the viewer at the heart of whatever is happening during the story. It could take some time to develop (being an entirely new medium, story writers will have a massive task at hand), but for the first writer and company to break into the medium, the gains could be huge.
Although it seems like something of a jump, virtual reality and medicine have a lot of potentials to go hand in hand. A lot of what a doctor learns is theoretical, and there are relatively few opportunities to actually practice surgery. In virtual reality, training surgeons could fully simulate complex operations that would otherwise be almost impossible to prepare. In the long run, VR could be an excellent tool for training healthcare workers in a cheaper and more risk-free manner than they are now.
VR can additionally be used in schools and other learning environments to adequately demonstrate things that are otherwise impossible to show school children. The structure of a volcano, for example, is a fascinating idea, but kids can’t see them. VR provides excellent opportunities for science, geography, history, and many more subjects to sufficiently demonstrate people, places and events in a much more engaging way that keeps kids learning.