Earlier during the VR big bang, we got to see Icaros and how we could simulate flying through the sky on a machine that cost way more than the average person had. Now we see such a machine taking up space in hotels and some of the arcades out there for a pretty penny, but now there’s a competitor for the market and it’s got a fan.
The Hypersuit VR Simulator
AT CES, a new “suit” was unveiled to the public that would let you “become Iron Man or a diver” according to Gregoire Arcache, the head of the French company that made Hypersuit. There’s not much in the way of specifications for the machine, but the device is also still in its development stages and this was just an opportunity to get the big buyers interested in it.
The Difference Between Icaros and Hypersuit VR
There are only two differences that I am aware of: it has movable arms and a fan. The movable arms is a nice touch even though it is still rather difficult to move the arms themselves. The mechanical arms provide a surreal sense of your arms being inside of the virtual space as they move in the direction that you want them too but with resistance so as to simulate the air resistance you might meet in the sky. This is more than the Icaros, which keeps you stationary as you use your abs and your weight in order to swing the machine from side to side. Additionally, Icaros gave you the option to move your legs while Hypersuit VR does not have that option yet.
The fan is dependent on the game and is meant to simulate the air that you would feel while you are flying through the air. However, since it is understandable that almost no one wants to experience hundred mile winds blowing into their face while they try to enjoy the game, the fan isn’t that powerful and only provides a small taste of the actual task you are performing.
What Is Possible With It
Regardless of how powerful the machine is, it does provide many people with the sensation of flying as originally intended. In fact, there have been some rumors that this may be one of the safest ways to help those people who have a fear of heights. This is interesting for me as this is a fear I have had and one of the games I loathed playing was the Walk Experience VR, where one had to walk on a plank that dangled precariously high. That game only made my fear of heights even worse than it was before, so I think we should leave the rumors to rumor until someone shows us some data.
On the other hand, it looks as though this is another device that is not going to be sold to the public but rather the arcades that are currently making their way across the U.S. and have definitely established a foothold in Asia. An example of such a place is VR Zone, which opened up in Tokyo Plaza. Therefore, we’re likely not going to see this for a while to come. As for fitness, this has very little of it involved unless you take into account physical therapy. The machine is not moved around with your abs and the legs are stationary. The only parts of your body that you move with the machine is everything from your chest and upwards.
To be fair, I like it but I am certainly not impressed by it. Since Icaros provides much more in terms of exercise, it could just modify the arms that it has and easily overtake this competition. The name is misleading because one thinks of a suit being worn somewhere in the process, but that isn’t the case and it just looks like a downgraded version of the Icaros. That’s a shame too because it looks like it could be so much more.