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Apr132015

Virtual Reality Meets At-Home Workouts

When it comes to working out, either at home or at the gym, there’s usually not much you can focus on to take your mind off how much you’re sweating. Sure, you’ve got your music in, maybe you’ve got a show on in the background, or you’re staring at Judge Judy with the captions on, but nothing really works. None of those are quite as distracting as say biking through the Italian countryside or making your way through a park in Los Angeles.

However, unless you actually live in one of those two places or you’re filthy rich and can afford a daily jet so you can bike wherever you please, you’re kinda stuck with what’s around you. Four walls, a bulky stationary bike, and your TV. Well, until now. A company out of Italy has come up with a brand new way to enjoy your daily bike ride all from the comfort of your own home.

No more bulky stationary bikes required! (Image via Mashable)

It’s called the Widerun, and this is definitely not your ordinary at-home bike. Instead, this system takes your real-world bike (yes, the one you actually ride around outside on) and combines it with Virtual Reality technology to give you a biking experience unlike any other. Ride through the mountains one day, a park the next, and then the French countyside the next day! You can literally bike wherever you want without leaving home and without buying some 500 pound monster of a stationary bike.

The system itself consists of a docking station where you dock your actual bike, plus there’s a steering component that you can attach to the front tire. The system then features a microcontroller that helps simulate steering, speed, and resistance, so it actually feels like you’re biking over a rocky path rather than just watching that path go by like a movie. And, in case you’re wondering, you can use the system without the steering component, you’ll just be limited to VR worlds with straight paths only.

At this point, you’re probably seeing dollar signs flash before your eyes, because no, this doesn’t include the Oculus Rift or any sort of VR headset. However, breathe a sigh of relief, bikers. Although the Widerun was designed for use with the Oculus Rift or the Samsung Gear VR, it’s also compatible with your widescreen TV, so you can still bike through the Italian countryside, it just won’t feel quite as immersive.

As with most new and exciting gadgets, the Widerun is currently hosting a campaign on Kickstarter. They need a little over $44,000 to make the system happen and have nearly raised about half that. With 18 days to go, this could become a reality! And, there are still opportunities for you to get one of your own, as well. $366 gets you a basic system, without the front steering input system, while $408 gets you the whole enchilada. Or should we say pizza pie? This is from Italy, after all!

(Story via Mashable)

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