ISPO Munich // 11/07/2023

More real movement with virtual reality

Image credit: Areous Ahmad/pexels
Author:
Oliver Knoch

Do you initially associate virtual reality and gaming with inactivity and hours of sitting? Wrong, because these technologies have the potential to get people moving! New developments make it possible to combine digital entertainment and physical activity. Gamified fitness apps and VR games motivate people to move more and have fun at the same time. Find out how virtual reality is revolutionizing movement - in the GameChanger SportsHub at ISPO Munich 2023.

Lack of exercise: a danger to our health

9.2 hours. That's how long Germans sit on average every day, for the US it's even 9.5 hours. Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, dementia: diseases that are promoted by a lack of exercise. Nobody wants to be sick and yet over 40% of adults and over 80% of teenage boys and girls do not get enough exercise. Not least because of the high screen time on smartphones, tablets and televisions.

How can we get society moving again?

 

Virtual reality as an incentive for exercise

However, the latest developments in VR (virtual reality) offer hope. The technology provides the opportunity to combine digital entertainment and physical activity.

The playful approach of fitness apps and VR games provides the necessary motivation to get people to become more active. Here's an example: You want to play tennis but don't have enough time to drive to the nearest tennis court, the weather is too bad again, or you can’t afford private training.

Your solution: Tennis Esports! An authentic tennis game with realistic ball physics that makes it feel like you're actually standing on the court and swinging your racket through the air - from the comfort of your own home. You can play online against friends and take part in tournaments. What's more, your body movements are recorded and analysed in detail to help you refine your technique.

 

We asked VR Motion Learning why VR can get more people into the sporting habit: "We're picking up a lot of kids on their computers and getting them into a real sporting activity at home. When sport is gamified, it has that special something!"

Of course, this approach doesn't just work with tennis. “Beat Saber” is one of the most popular applications for encouraging movement in VR. In this rhythm game, you break up flying blocks to the beat of the music while avoiding obstacles. This makes you work up a sweat and is a lot of fun at the same time.

This new type of movement can also be used by fitness studios and health facilities to promote exercise.

Totally exciting: virtual reality can also be used to bring people back to traditional sports and sports clubs. The "Active Esports Arena", for example, uses VR for digital experiences at school competitions. Students are asked whether they would like to improve their skills in order to qualify for finals. The trick is that they have to take part in a non-binding trial training session at a local sports club. And just like that, we are one step closer to exercise.

There are even the first solutions for simulating extreme sports. The Simventure company wants to give everyone who is enthusiastic about the respective sports access to them. Regardless of location, age, financial means or physical condition. To achieve this, they create "digital twins" of sports experiences with a focus on the body's own movements and hyper-realistic, multi-sensory perception.

You can experience all of these solutions live at the GameChanger Sports Hub in the Future Lab at ISPO Munich 2023 from November 28 to 30.

Looking to the future

The GameChanger SportsHub aims to develop solutions for the future of sport and make them visible.

The release of the Meta Quest 3, the latest mixed reality goggles from Meta, in particular, has the potential to inspire many people who have not previously had anything to do with VR with the technology. This is because the trend is increasingly moving towards mixed reality. This means that you can still see the real world within the glasses - together with virtual elements.

This opens up a whole host of new possibilities to explore:

Glasses on, table tennis table conjured up in the living room and still everything in view.

There are also exciting prospects in combination with artificial intelligence.

How about tailor-made workouts that are precisely adapted to your individual needs and abilities, together with a virtual trainer standing right next to you and cheering you on? These and many other applications of VR and MR need to be discovered and developed in order to get people moving again.

Experience and shape the latest developments in VR sports at the GameChanger SportsHub from November 28 to 30 at ISPO Munich 2023.

 

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Author:
Oliver Knoch
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