FitXR says AI and better tracking will improve VR fitness training – Virtual Reality Times


Given our obsession with staying in shape, it’s no surprise that VR fitness has been one of the most popular uses of technology. Several VR fitness training apps have emerged over the years. One of the most popular of these is FitXR whose CEO Sam Cole believes artificial intelligence (AI) and better tracking will result in more effective virtual fitness training.

Cole says VR fitness is still in its infancy and will soon become better and more efficient thanks to artificial intelligence, new VR headsets and the integration of VR wearables.

The growth of virtual training has been precipitated by pandemic lockdowns which have forced most of the world to move away from public spaces like gyms and focus more on an indoor fitness program. Gym memberships plummeted and VR fitness apps began to experience a boom in adoption.

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Changing habits lead to a boom in VR fitness

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, your lifestyle traditionally revolves around the home, the office, and the gym. There is always a degree of separation between these three physical locations, involving a journey. With the onset of the pandemic, work, office and gym have converged in one place. Instead of going to three places, people found themselves simply changing rooms to work, exercise and do household chores.

As a result, fitness apps like FitXR have become indispensable for meeting our workout needs. Virtual apps created a workout environment where one could perform intense physical exercises under the guidance of real fitness instructors in the virtual world from the comfort of their homes. Next, Facebook reported a spike in VR fitness app usage during the pandemic. The boom in VR fitness apps has also seen millions of dollars of investment pouring into this market segment.

From VR gaming to a VR gym

The BoxVR fitness app, for example, was initially a VR game, but was upgraded to a VR gym during the pandemic to meet the growing demand for virtual reality fitness. The BoxVR app has been completely revamped with the addition of live fitness workouts, personal trainer avatars as well as additional workout types such as HIIT and dance.

BoxVR’s innovations and its pivot to a VR gym were initially unpopular, resulting in negative reviews. The app was renamed FitXR and moved to a subscription model with a monthly cost of $9.99. Initial resistance from the app’s user base eventually subsided and the fitness app saw growing success. FitXR has since seen regular new updates, accessibility improvements, new content and events. An enthusiastic virtual fitness community has also grown up around the app.

VR lessons by live instructors

FitXR is also expanding its team of personal trainers and, in the future, may see virtual reality classes taught by live instructors. FitXR has already recruited top professional trainers such as professional wrestler Zion Clark who was born without legs and now offers fitness training on the platform for people with physical disabilities.

FitXR is working towards a future where VR fitness classes are taught live by instructors. It might even be possible for instructors to be present in the VR studio in person. The platform is already testing live workouts. The company says it already has the technology to support live workouts and just needs a comprehensive go-to-market strategy to know when it would be appropriate to launch it to consumers.

AI training feedback

FitXR boss Cole also sees opportunities in recorded courses. He believes these will only become more effective with the help of improved motion capture found in upcoming virtual reality headsets as well as the use of artificial intelligence (AI). FitXR envisions a future where fitness information could be provided based on players’ movements. Cole says it will blur the line between real-time commentary and a pre-recorded avatar, and trainees using the app will receive specific prompts on how they play to a point where that experience will feel like live commentary.

As well as taking advantage of improvements to AI systems, Cole also says the fitness app could make use of new features in upcoming VR headsets, such as additional tracking cameras that will provide better arm tracking and from the lower torso. With these capabilities, it will soon be possible to get nearly complete body position data from virtual reality headsets, Cole observes.

Improve the FitXR experience

The FitXR virtual fitness experience will be enhanced by a combination of augmented reality, a mobile app and wearable devices.

FitXR has already released an Android and iOS companion app with which users can track their progress, develop workout plans, and set fitness goals from the convenience of their smartphone. The FitXR boss sees the integration as important for the future of VR fitness, as mobile has the potential to unlock “interesting augmented reality opportunities”.

The FitXR boss says the platform’s user base has grown primarily through word of mouth thanks to the app’s superb experiential nature. The fitness app CEO says these experiences can be extended through smartphones. FitXR also wants to integrate wearables through a collaboration with Apple and Strava.

FitXR expects a tenfold boom in VR headset sales

In a recent interview, Cole revealed that FitXR’s subscription base has quadrupled in the past 12 months. This success was achieved despite the COVID-19 lockdowns and subsequent decrease in hygiene measures that caused many people to leave physical gyms and turn to virtual fitness apps.

Cole thinks this robust growth is just the beginning. The boss of FitXR estimates that sales of virtual reality headsets will increase tenfold over the next three years. Several versions of VR headsets are planned for the near future, including Pico Neo 4 (Pro), PlayStation VR 2, Meta Quest Pro (Project Cambria) and Apple’s first virtual reality headset.×335.png×90.pngRob GrantGamesTechnologyGiven our obsession with staying in shape, it’s no surprise that VR fitness has been one of the most popular uses of technology. Several VR fitness training apps have emerged over the years. One of the most popular of these is FitXR whose CEO Sam Cole thinks…

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