Tom Lyons is the developer and publisher of Exercise is Boring’s AchieVRfit, a running and jogging simulator that uses real-life movement to move in virtual reality. The Ontario made fitness app was cleverly designed for the Gear VR and is hopefully sparking a new era of exercise and fitness apps for the mobile display.
VR and Fitness Inspiration
We found Tom on his YouTube channel called Exercise Is Boring, where he posts videos about his journey in creating the AchieVRfit app, VR game reviews, and updates on his own weight loss progress. He also writes blog posts on his Exercise Is Boring website, where he covers how he did that week, what he ate, what real life and VR exercise he accomplished, and about the game’s development progress.
What is achieVRfit?
AchieVRfit is a Gear VR app that can be found in the Experiences section of the Oculus Store. This amazing indie VR app will have players donning their Gear headset and running along a path as they run or jog in real time. The menu uses the controller to select the duration of the workout, the type of music you’d like to play while jogging or running, and gaze to collect objects in the game.
How Does It Work?
If you run fast the game’s environment will gain speed and if you slow down it will slow down with you. If you need to catch your breath or take a moment the app will stop as well, making this a really responsive VR game. AchieVRfit is accessible for people who can’t run and can be worn while on any treadmill, elliptical, and exercise bike without extra sensors! The movement of the headset is what triggers the movement in VR, so when you pedal or shift weight on a fitness machine the scenery will move right along with you.
We have a question about how it fares on treadmills and ellipticals. If you turn up the heat and add an incline or rolling hills, does the game’s environment move with it or does it stay flat? On an elliptical, does it jitter with the movement of your arms or do you move smoothly forward? We assume everything is fine with this because the game is released already. But this information could help improve the user’s experience and could help with cases of motion sickness if there were any.
The game has radio stations like “Energy Dance” that you can listen to as you get steps and cardio in, with users suggesting that adding more stations or even letting users upload playlists or tracks could increase the fun and replay value of the workout. The environment of the pathway is a great starting point but could be improved on with additional environments like how BOX VR included a Halloween and Winter stage for their users.
The game currently has bananas as the objects you collect/gaze at for points. Adding a variety of collectible objects in the game could add different values/points to the game. Leveling up your avatar’s XP or gaining achievements for hitting milestones could be a great addition to this game as well, making players more motivated to improve their current self in order to become their ideal self.
VR Fitness Potential
Video Credit to: The VR Shop via YouTube
Gear VR has Jogger, a Frogger-like run to the other side of the road to avoid getting hit by cars game, but the mobile VR headset is now gaining another fit-friendly game with AchieVRfit! Running and jogging in any capacity is great for the heart, lungs, and fires up the metabolism!
Health Line reports that a 120-pound person can burn 11.4 calories per minute and a 180-pound person can torch 17 calories per minute. More experienced runners and fit warriors can turn up the intensity on their VR workout by adding a weighted vest. We do not recommend ankle weights as you run because you can injure yourself that way.
Where To Find AchieVRfit
Website: Exercise is Boring
YouTube: Exercise Is Boring