The merging of health and video gaming has by no means been extra pure than within the increasing realm of digital actuality.
I have been a fan of health video games because the days of boxing with nunchucks in Wii Sports activities and the tethered play of All-In-One Sports activities VR for Oculus Rift. Now there is a fully wi-fi boxing expertise in Liteboxer VR, completely on the Meta (née Oculus) Quest 2.
Liteboxer is likely one of the newest VR video games to have the health club and private coach proper in entrance of you. It is a boxing expertise that is enjoyable, participating and difficult, even for a complicated boxer like me. The corporate hopes to turn out to be boxing’s peloton, however VR might not be one of the best place for its software program, a minimum of not but. We tried the pre-release model of Liteboxer VR to see how far we had been from actual health club experiences within the metaverse.
Digital courses, digital gear, actual sweat
Based in 2017, Liteboxer is a comparatively new health firm that launched its first product in 2020. The train machine of the identical identify makes use of a “redesigned” rubberized punching bag that is outfitted with LEDs to point out you when and the place to land your punches. Connected to this unit is a spot to drop a pill or cellphone from which you’ll be able to entry the Liteboxer app for real-time (however not dwell) boxing directions or mode choice. The unit retails at $1,500 or $1,700 relying on whether or not you wish to mount it in your wall or use it as a freestanding platform. For that amount of cash I might count on a display screen to be inbuilt reasonably than having to supply my very own.
Liteboxer VR virtualizes your entire system by throwing it into what’s referred to as the “Metaverse,” bringing your gear value all the way down to that of a Meta Quest 2 ($300). You may nonetheless need to pay a month-to-month membership charge of $19 for tuition — that is about $11 lower than the bodily Liteboxer gear subscription. Nonetheless, if you have already got the bodily gear with an lively membership, entry to VR programs is included in your $30 month-to-month charge. Sadly, Liteboxer would not have a freestyle mode for non-subscribers to only bounce in and hit the digital gear.
The bodily gear subscription presently presents greater than 800 courses, in comparison with round 500 courses with the VR membership. The rationale for the shrunken dimension is the elimination of sure exercises with much less VR-friendly actions, like burpees or leaping jacks. That is a great name; I’ve tried a number of of those exercises and doing burpees whereas carrying a VR headset is as abysmal because it sounds.
Nonetheless, Liteboxer plans to launch new VR-specific content material at launch, together with a mode the place the coach stands proper in entrance of you and means that you can land punches of their mittens as an alternative of watching and becoming a member of within the routine. It’s with this sort of bodily interplay that the VR expertise demonstrates its useful benefits over different dwelling health club options.