Esports: VR and AR trends in fitness
Mixed reality applications are enhancing esports in the form of immersive worlds. Read here for the trends.
Exergaming: getting fit in a fun and immersive way
Exergaming – the synthesis of exercise and gaming – is drawing in more and more fitness enthusiasts. In addition to the “traditional” esports computer games where gamers go up against each other in sporting competitions, the fitness and gaming market is now seeing a growing number of applications offering new sporting experiences in the form of virtual or augmented reality features. Motion sensors, virtual workout rooms, head-mounted displays, and other devices are enabling 360-degree interactions where the user’s own body and movements play the leading role in a virtual environment with the goal of improving physical fitness in a fun and immersive way. Successful exergaming pioneers include the smartphone game “Pokémon GO” and the Nintendo Switch game “Ring Fit Adventure”. In the latter, a Pilates ring is attached to a Joy-Con controller with which users traverse a virtual world full of monsters and defeat them using targeted movement exercises.
Esports: augmented and virtual reality sports at FIBO 2023
Bringing fitness and gaming together to form mixed reality sports presents wide-ranging opportunities and is increasingly attracting interest from gamers, athletes, esports enthusiasts, and fitness fans. So it’s not without reason that this year’s FIBO (taking place in Cologne April 13-16) is dedicating an entire hall to the trending topic: in the “Gaming & Activity Area”, those visiting the world’s leading trade show for fitness, wellness, and health will not only be able to watch esports pros play in-game sessions, but they’ll also have the chance to try out the latest mixed reality sports and exergaming innovations for themselves. Well-known companies such as ICAROS, LYMB.iO, and Sphery (the startup behind the ExerCube) will be among the exhibitors.
Current examples of mixed reality in the esports and fitness sector
The Munich-based company ICAROS specializes in developing gamified full-body workouts. The ICAROS Cloud training platform offers digital workouts with a virtual coach, group classes, and exergaming competitions with other users, while ICAROS Home is a kind of flight simulator that the user controls with their torso and back muscles. Users can improve their strength, endurance, and coordination while flying through a virtual landscape and experiencing an immersive workout.
With its LYMB ONE fitness and gaming system, LYMB.iO provides a vast array of interactive esports games for all ages. Wall projections and innovative sensor technology turn the user’s living room or other room in their home into a squash or racquetball court or other augmented reality space for sports, games, and duels. All that’s needed to control these esports experiences is a ball and your own movements – no controllers, glasses, or other peripherals.
The Swiss invention ExerCube is a three-dimensional cube that functions as a virtual training zone for honing physical and cognitive skills. Multiple projectors, a motion tracking system, and a heart rate sensor create a fun yet highly effective exergaming setting. The training sessions of the ExerCube can be customized, making it ideal for users to improve their fitness, no matter what their requirements and needs are – whether they’re recovering from an injury, working out for fun, or wanting to be at the top of their competitive game. The full-body workout with gaming elements is already being offered at some fitness centers.
Esports and exergaming: fitness settings of the future
Whether for home workouts, training at a gym, or use in physiotherapy practices: exergaming devices can be utilized in various ways and are likely to become more prevalent in the future. Combining sports, gaming, and virtual reality is extremely attractive for many target groups. After all, what is more motivating than having fun while doing something good for your body and health?