Imagine this – one weekend morning, you head to your local gym and enter a private room. After strapping on a pair of hands-free VR controllers, putting on a VR headset, and getting a good grip on some arm resistance bands, you enter a virtual arena. Your goal is to break through a group of opposing gates and destroy the enemy tower. In this pursuit, you’re met with various enemies aiming to halt you in your tracks, but with every chest press, row, and deadlift, you defeat your enemies and advance. You’re having an incredibly fun time, but you are also getting an incredible workout – the absolute best of both worlds. Much of the time, video games are associated with the sedentary sector of one’s life, but Black Box is working to be one of the first to change this. Through VR, an immersive and addictive video game experience can be synergized with an extremely effective workout regimen.
Founded by fitness fanatics Ryan DeLuca & Preston Lewis, Black Box VR aims to not only revolutionize how people can exercise, but also form the habits and commitment required to regularly do so.
This team in the past created Bodybuilding.com and made into the largest online supplement retailer in the world (with nearly $500m in annual sales). Along with other talented and driven individuals, they have created some of the world’s most recognized supplement brands, mobile fitness applications, health & fitness campaigns, as well as the world’s largest online fitness social network (with over 3m members). With Black Box, they set to create an immersive exercise experience that would feel more like you are playing instead of working. With Black Box, workouts that feel hours longer than they are instead feel much shorter. Pain becomes an afterthought as you are wholly focused on blasting your way to victory.
In the VR game, you aim to progress through levels by destroying gates and towers. Your attacks are fueled by your activity. You create earthquakes, launch tsunamis, and command lightning bolts as corresponding to overhead presses, squats, and lat pulldowns. As you do active rest exercises in between, such as arm circles, you deploy extra units as part of your army to help you.With increasing play and performance, you reap better rewards and upgrades. As you complete levels, you gain more in-game content, further driving you to improve your in-game avatar, which in turn improves your real-life avatar (aka physical body).
The cutting-edge equipment is able to measure the minute changes in your form and provide instant feedback regarding it. If you are moving too slowly or quickly, facing the wrong direction, or using one hand instead of two (and vice versa), you will be prompted in the game on how you can fix it.
You will be in a calm environment of your own away from outside distractions that are typically present in a gym. Each individual receives VR covers and headsets that are cleaned between uses to make sure you don’t have to worry about touching a prior user’s sweaty headset. You will also have access to sweatbands and fans that keep you cool and comfortable as you are exercising.
Whether you are working out for the first time or have been doing it for years, because the fitness intensity is scaled to your level of performance (the armbands can reach 120 lbs of resistance per arm), you can receive a valuable physical training drill no matter how seasoned an athlete you are.
Some things to highlight about Black Box:
- The technology is incredibly interactive as it uses features of your workout: like your movement, amount of resistance weight, and the number of reps in a session to prescribe future routines and maximize your results.
- Each session consists of a warmup, followed by a minimum of three 8-minute rounds. A single weekly session has the potential to bring in massive physical gains.
- Installation is currently expected to be implemented in collaborating gyms or specific Black box VR gym locations throughout 2018, but home versions are aimed to develop in coming years.
- At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (one of the world’s largest annual technology and trade conventions) Black Box really made a presence as they pulled through with a CES Innovation Award and was hand-selected to receive the Best Startup award among 900 other startup companies. It was also a finalist in the award categories of Best Sports Tech, Best Fitness Product, and People’s Choice.
- What really distinguishes Black Box to traditional workouts is its focus on making exercise as addictive and satisfying to get into as a favorite video game or sport.
- With Black Box, you even have the capability to workout with friends, building each other up as you cooperate or compete to reach new heights within the game.
This workout, in comparison to traditional ones, has the capacity to be far more enjoyable and simultaneously far less painful. The long-term reward of building your body is easier to accomplish when it is constantly being supplemented with immediate rewards at the end of every session.
Learn more about Black Box VR here and keep dreaming about the spectacular virtual trips you soon might be able to take. As VR becomes more immersive and further capable of interacting with several parts of the body, the possibilities are limitless.
Rahman is a Senior at BASIS Mesa in Mesa, Arizona. He is wildly interested neuroscience and has a large interest in virtual reality and its applications for cognitive and behavioral treatment. Rahman enjoys learning about new advancements in virtual reality technology.