Sourcenity and VisionBody have come together to create a new full-body haptic suit that sends Electrical Muscle Stimulation, or EMS pulses, to the wearer’s body to simulate touch and impact in virtual reality. The pulsations and vibrations sent from their PowerBeatsVR game and to the VisionBody PowerSuit, work together to turn virtual exercise into an activity that will keep you coming back for more.
The PowerBeatsVR PowerSuit is a neck to wrists to ankles suit (although some versions look to have less coverage) that’s hooked up with 20 specially placed EMS pulse pads for haptic feedback and is compatible with HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Users get suited up and can play rhythm and fitness games while their muscles get stimulated for repair and growth while also feeling touch, impact force from virtual weapons, and other sensations with the haptic EMS vibrations.
The PowerSuit is made of a bi-elastic fabric that is said to stretch and fit like a second skin and is equipped with Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, so you won’t have to fidget with more wires than you already have to. We haven’t tested the tech out ourselves, but it is said to move right along with a wearer’s stretching in yoga and dynamic movement while hitting beats with controllers or while cycling in VR.
Health and Fitness Benefits of EMS
Electrical Muscle Stimulation pulses have been used by physical therapists to accelerate muscle healing for regular folks all the way to professional athletes. Sports Medicine Weekly says that EMS is great for reducing muscle and joint damage from an active lifestyle or genetics, cuts down on training fatigue, increases strength and leads to faster muscle recovery. If you’re looking to buy this suit for the fun gaming factor the EMS benefits are an added bonus!
The PowerSuit’s EMS levels aren’t fixed to one level of intensity, users can dial the pulses and vibrations up to feel like heightened muscle tension or down to a feeling of being lightly massaged. So, if you’re looking to unravel muscles in yoga you can customize it so that you won’t be zapped out of Vinyasa flow. Or, if you’re playing PowerBeats VR you’ll feel the beats being hit to music or the feeling of a sword hitting and then slicing you, taking the guesswork out of where you’ve been hit in a fast-paced FPS game.
VR Fitness Benefits
Active rhythm games like PowerBeatsVR will have you punch or hit beat orbs as they fly towards you for points and is the PowerSuit’s first compatible fitness game. Playing active gaming titles like PowerBeats VR in room scale and with six degrees of freedom while standing and moving around unhindered, is a great way to achieve full body conditioning and can set fire to your workouts.
PowerBeatsVR isn’t trying to power lift the gym life out of your training routine, they’re trying to help supplement for those off days we all experience. In a statement, they sympathize with people who are looking to get and stay active while also being a solution for more serious athletes saying, “Traditional training at a gym is still great, but requires discipline to maintain or improve your physique. Even the most disciplined athletes often struggle not to break their workout habits. By combining fitness and Virtual Reality, it’s possible to make fitness a habit as addictive as your favorite video games.”
Playing PowerBeatsVR is going to be an effective upper and lower body workout and can be compared to Box VR, Soundboxing, and Beat Saber, all of which are fitness titles that coordinate music and directional orbs or boxes with a user’s actions. Players hit or strike these orbs to the beat and set fire to their body’s fat stores with extended gameplay times. The lower body gets targeted when players sidestep, lunge, or squat away from obstacles and can be dialed up in intensity with Hardcore Mode, a survive till you drop full-body fitness challenge.
Watch the video below to see PowerBeatsVR in action!