Getting fit is top of a lot of New Year resolutions lists, but if the thought of plodding away on a treadmill or lifting weights in a sweaty gym doesn't fill you with enthusiasm, turning your workouts into games through virtual reality could soon see you shedding the pounds.
At the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Black Box VR showed how virtual reality gaming can help with fitness as you build up speed, strength and endurance to win points as you exercise.
In a Black Box VR gym, users don a virtual reality headset and wrist-worn tracking devices before engaging in a full-body workout using a special cable-based resistance machine. They then complete tasks presented through the VR headset.
The technology automatically changes the weight you lift in line with your performance, and will track your progress and make suggestions and corrections.
It’s being termed 'virtual sport', and Black Box VR claims that the added distraction of playing a game during exercise means users don't realise how hard they're working out.
"You are giving 10/10 of your abilities but it feels like 6/10. Time flows by so quickly your 30 minute full-body virtual reality fitness experience feels like ten minutes," reads the Black Box VR website.
A typical Black Box VR workout would involve meteor (chest press), tsunami (squat) and blizzard (deadlift) sets, to achieve the right amount of 'units'. As you continue gaming with your body, you can unlock rarer unit cards and reward boxes.
Black Box says its target audience is 25-40-year-olds who are keen to improve their fitness and who are enthusiastic gamers.
The aim of the game is to break through gates to destroy the enemy tower. The games can be either a competition against yourself, or you can play against another players.
The company intends to open a specialised gym in San Francisco in early 2018 before rolling out the systems in gyms across the US.