The fitness machine and flight simulator, Icaros, has been popping up in gyms across America and has just received funding from an Austrian company, Segnalita, that’s in the “mid-seven figures”, according to reports by Road to VR. The exercise machine uses the planking position or flying in prone and shifting body weight to target specific muscle groups while using VR programs and games to simulate flight.
Focus on Health and Fitness
Icaros pilots will feel like they’re actually flying and diving through the air and around meteors and other obstacles as they free fall to earth from outer space and other challenging games. The planking platform stabilizes the pilot with two hand grips that are also controllers to interact with virtual games and a portion where the pilot can rest their shins or legs on it for a more comfortable or deeply engaged plank hold.
The plank position is a tried and true exercise for strengthening the abdominal, oblique, and back muscles, but the machine also keeps the arms, shoulders, chest, and lower body moving with games that will have the pilot shift their body weight. Icaros can be used in a fitness and physical therapy setting due to its customizable difficulty feature to accommodate clients with a range of fitness abilities and evolving goals.
Michael Schmidt, Icaros co-founder and CEO says that the new funding will help the company “tap into new markets and, above all, to advance our research and development work in the health segment,” and that they are striving to “provide the most motivating and health-promoting training experiences to combat our society’s sedentary lifestyle”.
The company is currently selling their Icaros Home version on their website for a more affordable price tag of 2,380 Euros (about $2,776 USD), which is consumer affordable when compared to their Pro edition which goes for 8,400 Euros (about $9,800 USD). A home version of the Icaros machine means a new fitness ally is on the horizon for existing VR fitness machines like Black Box VR, VRee Motion Quadricycle, and VirZOOM.
Having a wider variety of machines that are compatible with home VR can mean that more people will show off their new system to their friends, family, colleagues and that this will influence more gyms, businesses, and physiotherapists to see VR as a unique fitness, entertainment, and health tool. Bernhard Letzner, managing director of Segnalita, says, “ICAROS provides completely unique, promising products that brilliantly combine sports, fitness, and gaming, which is very much in line with the times. We are now enabling the company to keep growing within the existing segment and make the products accessible in the medicine sector”.
Bonus: Multiplayer Gaming
Segnalita has made a great partner with Icaros because of its clear potential with fitness, health, and gaming. Icaros runs on gaming and it is the challenging games that create immersive worlds that pilots will want to keep returning back to for exercise and an exhilarating experience that’s more enjoyable than the typical plank.
Icaros has created a free to play (with purchase of the machine) multiplayer racing game named Icarace where players can fly around on obstacle courses against each other as they build up their body’s strength, balance, and reflexes. Pilots can customize their racer, online profile, and can track their progress as they make their way up the global leaderboard.
Right now, Icarace Summer Race is going on until July 30th, so Icaros pilots can get a month-long fitness challenge under their belt that is sure to keep their body tight all summer. There are 5 different racetracks to race through — Channel 5, Eunomia, Ross 128b day, Ross 128b night, and Vylkk. Each track has a winner’s prize that starts at 100 Euros (about $116 USD) and increases up to 500 Euros (about $583 USD).
Where to Get Icaros
Interested buyers can get the Icaros Home, Icaros Pro, Icaros R, and Icaros Health machines on their shop website. The fitness machine and flight simulator work with VR headsets like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear VR. Follow Icaros on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram #icarosflight, and YouTube.
Watch the Icaros Home trailer below!