Aaron Stanton says that VR is the most effective piece of exercise equipment he’s ever purchased. He’s spent over 100 hours playing an exercise mod of Audioshield, which is more than he’s used his exercise bike, treadmill, or elliptical machine combined. But should playing a VR experience be considered exercise? He created the Virtual Reality Institute of Health & Exercise in order to gather the empirical data to provide evidence that some VR experiences have a Metabolic Equivalent Score that burns as much calories as walking, jogging on an elliptical, playing tennis, rowing, biking, swimming, or sprinting.
I caught up with Stanton at Oculus Connect 5, where he was waiting to play the arena-scale version of Dead & Buried while wearing a portable metabolic unit to measure his amount of energy expended while playing it. Stanton shares the surprising result that some VR games take people to their metabolic maximum, but that there’s something about the pain reduction aspect of VR technology where people don’t perceive that they’re exerting themselves as hard as they are. He believes that VR has the potential to provide the most painless and enjoyable exercise experience above and beyond any other option that’s available today.
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST
Here is John Carmack talking about people passively interacting with VR during his Oculus Connect 5 keynote (where he references a conversation he had with Stanton on the first day of OC5).
Here is Aaron Stanton’s Bet with Carmack that VR Exercise will be one of the most important verticals in consumer VR by 2020.
This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.
[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye and welcome to the Voices of VR Podcast. So whenever I go to an event like Oculus Connect 5, I end up having a number of different conversations and there's these different themes that start to emerge. And one of the themes that was coming up at Oculus Connect 5 was embodiment, VR for exercise, as well as VR for different medical applications. And so I had a chance to talk to Aaron Stanton. He's both the executive producer of Quiver, which is an archery game within VR, but also he's the director of the Virtual Reality Institute for Health and Exercise. And so he set out to try to show with empirical evidence that playing a virtual reality game is as good as running on an elliptical. And he wanted to start to measure these different games like Beat Saber and Quiver and these active games where he's getting this metabolic equivalent score to be able to show that these are just as good as any other exercise. So one of the things that I was hearing was just there's a lot of people that are playing these types of games every day and that they're starting to create a bit of an exercise practice around that. Now, this is an idea and a concept that there's actually a lot of resistance to within the larger VR community, but also specifically with someone like John Carmack. Aaron actually had a conversation with John Carmack the day before Carmack's keynote speech, and Carmack actually referred to that discussion in his keynote. I'm just going to play that little excerpt because at the time that I did this interview with Aaron, neither one of us had really heard what he had said, but the gist of what Carmack's perspective was, was kind of reflected in Aaron later in this interview. So I'm just going to play this excerpt from John Carmack's Oculus Connect keynote.
[00:01:46.111] Aaron Stanton: And then I do worry that in many ways it does come down to people tend towards a little bit of laziness and inaction. I mean, this is what gave us the couch potato and all of this. And while VR can be touted as the antidote to the couch potato, it gets up, makes you active. I talked to somebody here yesterday that was very involved in basically fitness VR stuff. And first I was like, well, don't you have a lot of fogging problems? And they said, not really, surprisingly little. And that VR can be really great for this sort of exercise, but I am dubious about it changing a lot of people's habits, where I was disappointed in past years that I couldn't even get people to stand up or spin around in a swivel chair to play games with Gear VR. People generally wanted to just sit down, in one direction and move their thumbs instead of moving their body. And that's something to keep in mind. It's going to be great to have these athletic superstar events where it looks amazing, but if we want to sell millions and millions to people, it's going to be a lot of people that may still just want to sit down and move their thumbs in some way.
[00:02:50.411] Kent Bye: So there's clearly a lot of hesitation and skepticism about this concept and this idea. And I would agree with John is that there's different temperamental balances. For some people, they're going to have this level of mental presence where there's just a lot of abstractions where they are expressing their agency through their thumbs. But I think there's a whole other realm of people who are very much into this concept of embodied presence by actually moving their body around as well as active presence. And I'm experiencing it myself. I've been playing Beat Saber every day as an exercise routine, and I'm hearing that there's a lot of other people that are doing that as well. And I think this is a deeper trend that my sense is that Oculus is kind of missing it. And this is something that Aaron Stanton is trying to lay down the groundwork for. And so we'll be talking about all the different things that he's doing in order to gather the empirical evidence to make the case for why VR should be considered a form of exercise on today's episode of the Voices of VR podcast. So this interview with Aaron happened on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 at the Oculus Connect Conference in San Jose, California. So, with that, let's go ahead and dive right in. So my name is Aaron Stanton. I do a number of things in VR, right? So I'm an executive producer of a game called Quiver, for one. I'm also the director of the Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise, which specializes in rating virtual reality games for exercise potential. It's the equivalent of, like, running on a treadmill or anything like this. And then I'm involved in a number of other things, right? I come from a startup background, and I mentor at, like, BoostVC and an advisor to a number of different companies in the space. So I'm very much focused on the ecosystem of VR, right? Oh, we're starting to move, actually. So can we? Yeah, yeah. OK, so yeah, go ahead. The reason we're standing in line is because I have a portable metabolic unit, which the way you measure calorie burn in a new or novel exercise is you measure the rate that your body converts oxygen into CO2. That's what your body burns a calorie of energy on when it's doing stuff, right? So when we saw that the Quest, how physical it was, and this particular experience, that there's a lot of moving around, we were like, we should test that. So we brought in a portable metabolic equipment. So it'll be me with a gas mask on, essentially. Connected to a backpack and I'm gonna go play the dead and buried experience and measure my calorie burn throughout So later on we can be like, yeah, you know, it's kind of a fun and it burned X number of calories So that's why we're standing in line So you're also involved with quiver which I understand is like a arrow shooting game Which is moving around to quite a bit and also you've also you have this research Institute or this organization to be able to do these types of studies to get some sort of insight as to what the health Benefits of VR is so maybe could talk a bit about those things as well Yeah, so as I was saying earlier, I'm very ecosystem focused. I believe that the VR industry and the AR industry will grow up together, right? And so I try to understand what are the different moving parts. And so part of that is I'm interested in gaming. I've been a gamer for my entire life. And so the game you mentioned, Quiver, Jonathan, who's the original creator of Quiver, and I'm the executive producer, we got started because we wanted to have an entry point into the VR space. We wanted to be able to go to conferences and say, hey, we're doing cool stuff. that when we showed up, we had something to say about it. Why were we there, right? We were there to create an interesting and cool experience. But at the same time, I'm also very much interested in all the non-gaming applications of VR as well, right? And one of those in particular is exercise. So back a while ago, I was playing AudioShield, and I'd played more than 100 and some odd hours, 120 hours. And I remember thinking to myself, you know, if this is actually exercise, my VR unit is by far the best exercise equipment I've ever owned, right? I mean, I have an elliptical and a treadmill and a rowing machine and I have not spent 100 hours on any of them, I promise you, combined or otherwise, right? And so at the time, this was about two years ago, I bought a heart rate monitor and just out of curiosity, I wrote an article. I don't remember if it was for upload or if it was for just that I posted, but it was an article of just the highest heart rate games that I had to the lowest heart rate games assorted. It was a very well-received article, but about 30% of the comments were very hostile to the concept of exercise and gaming. It was like there was a core group of people where it was almost challenging the worldview that you could go out and do something healthy that was gaming. And I started thinking about it for a while, and I realized I think a lot of that is because we've spent 30 years telling people that games and exercise are opposite to each other. I was in London a while back and I saw a poster that exhibited this perfectly. It was a picture of this about a seven-year-old boy sitting cross-legged on a couch. He's got a game controller in his hand. Off the image is the glow of a TV screen and he's kind of looking slackshod. And it was from the British Heart Association. And it just had a headline that says, risk early death, just do nothing. And that is what we've been telling people video games are in a healthy lifestyle for the last 30 years or so. If you want to be antisocial and out of shape and not have a girlfriend or whatever it is, go be Cartman playing World of Warcraft in your basement. And so the discussions that were happening on the forums was somebody would come up and say, hey, I feel like I'm exercising. I feel like I'm sweating a lot. And then somebody would say, no, you're not really exercising. You had anxiety and your heart rate was elevated, but it wasn't really a calorie burner. You drank too much caffeine that morning, which is largely the response that I saw in my article. And so I started researching, well, how do you measure actual energy consumption? We need an authoritative, adult-in-the-room source so that when these conversations come up and somebody says, I think I'm exercising, is that true? Instead of an endless back and forth, somebody can go, hey, somebody went and looked at it using objective scientific methodology. They answer the question, yes, it is exercise, or no, it's not. And now we can go on to find out how do we make that better exercise. And so I started asking around to figure out who has metabolic equipment. They're relatively expensive things. They run between about $50,000 to $100,000 a unit. And it turns out research universities tend to have them more than anybody else. And kinesiology departments have them. And so I ended up connecting with the chair of the kinesiology department at San Francisco State University. And I essentially pitched them on this idea that there's an entirely new branch of physical performance and kinesiology research that is going to be happening, that has not yet had a leader in the research space, and there's a need for a rating system. And so I pitched them on the creation of the Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise, which is, I would provide them with VR equipment and expertise, and they could help us understand and rate protocol for judging how different games impact you. What the VR Health Institute does is we rate games like the ESRB does, but instead of focusing on content, what we focus on is energy potential. So is a game a walking equivalent, or is it a running equivalent, or an elliptical equivalent? And what we've found is that roughly 30% of games in the market are equal to or better than an elliptical in a gym, in terms of your calorie burn. That's more than running. Oh, well, it depends on how you, you know, you can run fast, you can run slow. You pick a speed, but what the average person would go in and just kind of sit there running on an elliptical in the gym, there are definitely game experiences that are as good or better than that. In fact, like Thrill of the Fight and a lot of the boxing games actually are as good of energy consumption as actual real-world sparring. And we've observed in some of our testing, we've observed participants hitting their metabolic max, which would be like the equivalent of biking in the Tour de France. Oh wow, so what is the actual ratings then? Is it relative to running and walking and elliptical or is there another way to sort of quantify it? Or is it, it's kind of like a relational, sort of a normal person doing this type of exercise, it's sort of equal to that? Yeah, so you can get into the weeds a little bit on it, but I think it's important to understand what we're doing. So what we're actually rating these games on is what's called a MET score, a metabolic equivalent score. So calorie burn is hugely dependent on weight, and so it's not really very effective to say if this burns six calories a minute, because that changes quite a lot if you're 160 pounds versus 200 versus 130, right? But metabolic equivalent is a multiple of your base metabolic rate. So if you're laying down and resting, that's a MET score of 1. MET score of 2 is literally double your metabolic resting rate. Standing is about 1.4 to 1.5 METs. Walking is about 2 METs, and so forth. The scale can be really quite high if you're an athlete, but for realistic, like normal people, it maxes out around the 14, 15, 16 METs or so, right? So you're like operating at your peak metabolic energy output. That's possible for you? Right, right. So what we actually do is we take people and we have them come in and we connect them to the metabolic equipment and have them play the various different games, like Beat Saber, for example, is a good one we just recently rated. And then we measure their metabolic score during that game over a course of about 30 minutes. And then once you calculate that, the government actually maintains a database, well, multiple databases of every activity you can imagine, vacuuming, cleaning, doing dishes, you know, along with traditional exercises, and its equivalent MET score. And so you can say over 30 minutes of continuous play with a typical Raider under certain conditions, we observed Beat Saber has a MET score of XYZ. I can't remember off the top of my head what it was. I believe it was around six to seven METs. Then you can go to that list and say, what are the other types of activities that are in that range? And that's where our equivalency comes from. We wanted to take something that people don't perceive as exercise, VR, and tie it to something that people absolutely perceive as exercise, like an elliptical. And so the elliptical equivalency is literally saying that the observed exercise or calorie consumption in testing, we observed at least the same as what you could expect out of traditional exercise. And that is all through, like, oxygen consumption? Or how do you translate what's going into this unit that you're about to do, and then how does that get translated into that score? Yeah, so you'll see it here in a second when I put it. In fact, most people are actually aware of it. If you've ever seen, like, a movie that's either post-apocalyptic in the future, and they've got a lab that's supposed to look evil, or you'll see a guy running on a treadmill with a gas mask on, or it looks like oxygen mask. What he's actually probably doing is what's called a VO2 max test, which is a common test for helping understand how good in shape you are. But he uses the same equipment. And so what you do is you measure on the inhale the ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide and CO2 in the breath. And then you measure it again on the exhale. And between the two, you can tell exactly how much oxygen has converted from one to the other. And because that's essentially what your body is spending energy on to do, we can indirectly calculate how many calories you've burned during that breath. So we don't do it like calories per second technically. We do it calories per breath. And then, of course, we collect data over a period of time that we then kind of roll back to calories per second. Oh, fascinating. OK, so what's the overall conclusions that you've come in terms of looking at the overall VR ecosystem and doing these testing? Well, the obvious one is obvious, which is that exercise in VR is good exercise, right? But there's a lot of other kind of nuances to that. First off, like I said, roughly about 30% of the games that come out we think actually qualify as good exercise. The upper range is almost as good as exercise you can possibly get, so the really, really intense games. are not just good exercise, but extremely good exercise. But exercise in VR is a double-edged sword, right? One of the very first studies done was a graduate student was doing a master's thesis, and she took 40 participants, 20 females, 20 male, mostly kinesiology students. So these are test subjects that are in pretty good shape. They've spent their life studying energy, physical energy. And we had them run through three sets of games, right? So a modified audio shield using a workout mod, Thrill to Fight, and Hollow Point. And a few things are interesting. First off, almost every single subject hit their metabolic max at some point during the test. Most of the time, Thrill to Fight. But before we do those tests, we do a thing called a Borg's test scale where you have people go through a traditional VO2 max test and you ask them their perceived exertion in different stages, right? So they start off on this scale, are you working a lot or a little bit or hard, you know? And on a VO2max test, you then run them to their limit, right? You just keep increasing the elevation of the treadmill until they basically say, I can't do anymore. Your body reaches a point where you can't convert oxygen fast enough to keep up, and you essentially collapse if you don't stop at that point, right? So, we had a really good idea of, during traditional exercise, what a person experiences feeling-wise, right? During the testing with the VR, we'd do the exact same thing. We'd say, okay, now, how do you feel? At different heart rates. And what we found is that while every single person, or almost every single person, reached their physical max, not a single person in the study reported feeling like they were doing more than a light workout on a treadmill. So something about the mediation of their consciousness through the visual input of the VR that makes them almost get so immersed into the experience that they kind of forget how much their body is working. Yeah, I'm always hesitant to speculate on why, but what I suspect is that similar to the way that like they found that changing dressings on burn victims when they're in VR is a substantial pain reducer, somehow VR interferes with your perception of discomfort. And that applies for treatment of wounds, but also applies for the discomfort in exercise. I mean, for me, what I search for is what I refer to as the painless minute of exercise, right? The minute of exercise where I'm not thinking about exercise. And every piece of exercise equipment has some percentage of its time that's like this, right? You give me an elliptical with nothing, I'm gonna spend a lot of time thinking about exercise. You give me a TV with Game of Thrones, I'm going to be spending a lot less time, but still quite a bit of my time thinking about exercise. My belief is that VR has the ability to offer the highest number of painless minutes of exercise of any exercise that's available. And in addition, to me, exercise in VR is all about decay rate, right? So a treadmill, when I buy it the first week, I'm going to use it a lot the first week, and I'm going to use it a little less the second, and the third, and the fourth. And eventually, I get to the point where I hang clothes on it, right? And that's its role in my life. But my PS4 has that same decay rate. It might not take a week. So I have bought my PS4 a while back. I have not played a launch title from that system for quite some time. I played it a lot at first. You know, Destiny 1 I played a lot. But I beat it. And now I don't play it for much, right? So it's not that exercise in VR is somehow this magical thing that's always going to keep you entertained. It's a piece of exercise equipment that you can refresh on a monthly basis for 30 or 40 bucks. As long as there is contents available that's good exercise, and as long as you know to find that content. And right now we have this problem is that A, people don't know that it's good exercise, they have a hard time finding it, but more importantly is that we just have this massive blind spot in the VR industry, I believe, that somehow has said to us that exercise, consumer-focused exercise, is not a thing that VR consumers are going to be interested in doing. And I just categorically disagree. Yeah, I just was talking to someone from Cedars-Sinai last night who is working with VR as a pain reduction therapy, and he said there's a couple of theories. One is a spotlight theory of attention, where as you put your attention outward, you're focusing on something else rather than putting your attention on the aspects of your body that are feeling pain. But there's also a gate theory of your neurons, the pain going through your body, and so it's sort of where that pain comes in, there's maybe something happening at the spinal level, the gait theory of disrupting that, but also, like, focusing your attention on the spotlight theory of attention. So you have these different theories of attention, as well as talking to Howard Rose, who does a lot of this as well, and what he said was that using virtual reality as a pain reduction therapy can be a little misleading, because people may think that, oh, well, it's just in your head. If you can solve it by having some sort of experience in VR, then it must not really exist. And what he said is that The pain is real, it's just that the solution is in your mind and in your consciousness that you're able to have this experience of letting your visual field dominate but that allows you to focus on something else and problem-solving skills and being able to be in a flow state that takes a spotlight of attention of focus off of the pain that's happening in your body. Yes, whichever kind of hypothesis you subscribe to in terms of why pain happens and how to make it better. Like, all I can say with definitiveness is I believe that the VR somehow disrupts that. Either by distracting you on the spotlight theory or interrupting or providing additional stimulus that kind of interferes with the pain signal. And, you know, it's interesting because all that's very interesting, technically interesting, but the value of VR and exercise is that I don't have to care about any of that stuff, right? I don't want to be thinking about exercise. The reality is I am terrible at exercise. I hate it. I don't do it. I need more of it. My entire goal in life is to figure out how to be fit without ever thinking about it. I find it interesting when people talk about how VR and games might not be great exercise. And that's a perception that people sometimes have. And I look at Steam, right? I look at my 100 hours in AudioShield, right? Every game I've played in Steam VR has been tracked in terms of how much time I spent to it. And this is a bit embarrassing, right? Like, I don't go on dates and say, like, hey, by the way, I spent 150 hours playing games this last year. But if you take that and say, OK, well, I actually now know the audio shield on those workout mods that I play is a very, very good workout. I burn a lot of calories doing that. I would not hesitate to tell somebody that I go to the gym on a regular basis, right? That would be considered a positive thing. It's a negative stereotype that we have to combat a little bit, because now games are a tool to help us be better, as opposed to the enemy that made us worse. But what's interesting is that if you look at Steam, and I'm just one person, you can look at how many hours of Audioshield have been played as a whole. We now know, or at least have a pretty good idea of what the average calorie burn for an average player playing Audioshield is. And you can take those numbers and say, okay, we'll subtract out of the millions of minutes that have been played, we can subtract out X percentage because maybe those are people playing with menus or somebody's left the headset sitting on the ground. But even if you do it very, very conservatively, and you go back and look at it, you find out there's been hundreds of millions of calories burned playing Audioshield, right? And that's just one game in VR. We actually ran, I don't have the numbers in front of me, but we actually ran that calculation when we first launched the Health Institute. And it was like running to and from the moon like 50 times or something like this, right? It's very, very possible that Steam is the largest tracked exercise community in the world. Steam VR is the largest tracked exercise community in the world and doesn't even know it. And yet we still talk about the fact that maybe games aren't good enough exercise, and that blows my mind. Well, I think that there's a couple of ways that people are probably looking at this. One is from the outside world, looking at video games in general, having their stereotypes of that and VR being associated with games being equivalent. But the embodiment aspect of virtual reality, I think, is clearly different from a lot of the evidence that you've been able to record and show. But even within the virtual reality community, there seems to be surprising resistance to this concept that virtual reality could be exercised. You were just mentioning that you were talking to John Carmack of Oculus, and how he was just on stage here giving his keynote, Oculus Connect 5, on the second day, mentioning that he didn't necessarily even believe that VR should be considered exercise, or he was skeptical of the idea. Maybe you could talk a bit about your own interactions with Carmack, and then sort of what he was saying today in his keynote. Yeah, sure, and I have to really compliment him because when I was talking to him the other day about exercise, he said, to me, much of what he said on the stage, too, which I haven't seen it yet, by the way, I didn't go back and watch the stream, but one of the things he said is, like, I heard you, I hear you, and I'll have to think about that. And the fact that it stayed with him, the conversation stayed with him, and to make it into the keynote, I actually have a huge amount of respect for that. But at the same time, from what I've understood, assuming what he said to me when we had the conversation and what he said on stage was similar, which I think they are, I vehemently disagree with the perspective that VR exercise is not a viable future. So, I'm going to try to paraphrase what I heard him say yesterday, and then, again, I haven't said what he said, but what I remember him saying is essentially that there are established patterns that people go through, and we've had enough hard time getting them to stand up out of the chair, let alone, like, moving around a lot. And also, there was a concern that, you know, we watch these videos where people take off the headset in the promotions, they wipe their forehead because they're wiping the sweat away. Then people go see that, and then they go out and buy a game and are surprised at how little motion there is actually in them. And, you know, I think that there's a certain category of VR where that's possibly true, but I don't think that's where the future of VR is going. And I don't think when you look at things like The Quest, what you see is what we're doing right now. We're standing in line, waiting to go run around. in a game wearing VR that happens to also be aware of the surrounding environment. And we're going to measure its calorie burn. And I promise you what we're going to find out is, is this better than not doing it, right? I don't know what the numbers are going to be, but what I'm burning right here standing and talking to you is going to be less than whatever I'm doing squatting down behind cover and so forth, right? But I feel like there is a substantial blind spot in the VR industry because of these legacy views, not from what Carmack's referring to, which is a behavior change issue, which is, I think, I mean, I step back this, I don't know exact, there are very few things that I'm absolutely sure of, right? I feel surety is a dangerous thing. But I have a great deal of belief that the problems being solved by VR and AR in exercise is a substantial enough and real thing for enough people that it is inevitable. Just exactly the same way that when we watch keynotes and somebody stands up there and says, yes, this technology is clearly valuable. It is inevitable. We don't know when, we don't know what form, but we're going to get there. I absolutely believe that there will not be a gym in the United States in the next three to five years that does not have some form of AR or VR in it. Because, yeah, exercise by itself sucks. There is a community right now that's very happy with things like P90X, but then there's a huge majority of people who just obviously are not happy enough to do it on a regular basis. And if we can give them something else to do that encourages exercise and, you know, okay, so it's a little bit of a tangent, but a number of other things that I'm involved in, I've also been experimenting with putting VR equipment in local gyms, right? Because I wanted to see how non-VR players, non-technical people responded to the idea of this exercise world. So there's a VR fit in Columbus, Ohio, and also then the Mischief Center at San Francisco State University. We've bought and put in some equipment there with the support of the people operating the gyms. And we had some initial advertising. And at first, we put out things like VR exercise and all sorts of stuff. And when we did our focus groups, we found out the number one thing was is that non-VR people were like, I don't know what VR is. It could have been called ZY exercise. It meant the same thing. So what turned out to be much more effective was to do two things. We came up with an advertising campaign which, A, advertised what you could do, and then attached to it, burns calories, right? So, being a hero burns calories. Balling boxers burns calories. My favorite one, from Drunk and Bar Fight, actually, which we never actually ended up running in the university, for obvious reasons, but is drinking beer burns calories. Because Drunk and Bar Fight actually burns quite a bit of calories. I don't remember where it falls in the scale, but it does make you move around. And so if you focus on the things you can do that you couldn't do in real life, right? This doesn't quite work because you're not actually fighting space pirates, but shooting space pirates burns calories would be a very nice training to be a space pirate. Burns calories doesn't work out quite so well. But it's not about, can I play tennis in VR and burn calories? Maybe. But the question is, can I do a bazillion other things that I can't do in real life and burn calories? Yeah, I think that one of the things that Job said is that what you put in is what you get out, and I think it's probably important to bookmark all this discussion, but to say that, like, you can do these tests and people can be getting a certain level of metabolic energy exertion and then put a number to that, but, you know, you kind of go back to 2007 when the Wii came out and the Wii Tennis, you know, people were swinging their full arms and really getting into it, and then eventually people found out that you could just, like, flick your wrist and get the same impact. And I feel like when I watched, like, the Beat Saber elites in the Beat Saber Elements Tournament, you know, there's a certain part where they're just standing completely still, and they're moving their arms, they're conserving their energy, and they're not necessarily, like, dancing. Because it's, like, for them at that level, they can actually get a better score if they don't move around. And so there's a bit of, like, reinforcement of this moving around. But they're still moving, and they have to have the endurance. But it's not as much as if they were doing, like, a full-on dance and experiencing that. I guess there's a bit of it's up to each individual to know how much they're exerting themselves to their own capacity as they're interfacing with these games, and that you kind of know your own limits. But it doesn't mean that if you go and do Beat Saber and you just stand there and kind of flick your wrists a little bit and do a minimal amount of motion, that you're still going to get that same sort of exercise benefit. So you are right, and I think wrong in some respects. So unlike a lot of exercises, games actually have things that you need to accomplish in order to progress. So one of the first assumptions that we make when we do these ratings and we tell our raters is play like an average player to succeed. So we, for example, didn't rate Beat Saber until the player could play at 30 minutes extended at expert difficulty level and pass the test, right? We would not. Oh, I see. So they have to be at a certain level. Right. Well, and because... So V-Taper is an interesting example for two reasons. One is, like, you would never rate a song that somebody had failed because you could just hold their hands on your side and then you would fail and you'd burn no energy, right? But there is a minimum floor that you have to move in order to pass the song successfully. And so we're trying to measure what is typical for the person who's trying to pass. But, interestingly enough, your secondary kind of hypothesis there, which is reasonable, which is that playing with a, you know, you're flicking your wrists is substantially less energy-burning than moving around a lot, I would have absolutely agreed with you until last weekend, actually. And it's not entirely untrue, but we did an experiment where we had the 35th highest-ranked Beats Air player in the world living in Seattle, and he flew in to San Francisco and we asked the Beat Saber community to suggest the hardest modified Expert++ songs that encouraged a lot of physical motion. And then we brought him in the lab and we had him play through these things, right? And measured his calorie burn and all that stuff. So we're still parsing the data, but there's some things out of it that I was surprised at. First off, we included a few songs, what we call stream songs, which are really optimization of wrist flicking, like you're talking about, not requiring a lot of movement, and then compared them against the ones that did require a lot of movement. And what we found is that they actually seem to be balancing themselves out a little bit, right? So the games that are stream-based tend to be smaller movement, but consistently faster and continuous movement. The games that require more movement tend to be more interrupted, meaning that they don't tend to be just constant barrages of notes. And so the slower but bigger movement balances out with the smaller but faster movements. So we did not see categorically where you could say, listen, somebody who's playing with the wrist is doing a lot less. We also did some experience where we had people play, same players play the song on the Vive and then do the same thing on the Oculus. and compare them to see if, on average, one system was doing differently in terms of energy burn, because not only is the Oculus controller about 50 grams lighter than the Vive, but the distribution of weight is substantially different. And we do know that the consensus seems to be that it's easier to play Beat Saber on the Touch, because you can do your wrists faster. But what we found is that if there is an energy difference, it's falling within the realm of our air and our standard deviations, because it's more about the distribution of the weight of the controllers than it is about the amount of energy it's taking to use them. So on the higher difficulties, as long as you're playing to succeed, sometimes games can surprise you as energy per consumption when you didn't think about it. I guess that's kind of the point. Yeah, I know that. I was watching the Beat Saber Elements and it came down to like Rogue Dude versus Sky Kiwi and Rogue Dude was focusing on the streams and then Sky Kiwi was the accuracy so there's more of like giving the full swing and getting the maximum there so there's different play styles there but it's interesting to hear that on average they could still average out in terms of energy consumption based upon whether or not you're doing those full swings versus doing small movements like over time. I want to caveat that we're still looking at the data, and I'm not meaning to imply that play style does not make a difference. It makes a huge difference. But the nice thing about games is that they have a built-in scoring system that kind of forces you. The designers can absolutely do things to make you move in order to be successful. And so as long as you choose a game that encourages good exercise, and then you go just play it to have fun and play it to succeed, that's probably going to be helpful for you.
[00:30:59.231] Aaron Stanton: Great.
[00:30:59.431] Kent Bye: And so for you, what are some of the either biggest open problems that you're trying to solve or open questions that you're trying to answer? Well, again, my reasoning for doing it, I mean, like, the VR Health Institute doesn't have a profit motive. It has no product. It's all volunteer staff. I mean, it exists because a ratings organization is necessary for this if we as a community are going to start taking it seriously from this standpoint. But I am very ecosystem-focused. Like, I am also very interested in location-based entertainment. What is the future of location-based entertainment? Right now, I'm, you know, I've heard, like, the CEO of The Void say that Location-based entertainment right now is about experiences, and we're an experience industry. And I'm actually not a believer in that view. I believe that we are a curiosity industry at the moment in the location-based, that what we are doing is giving people an awesome place to experience VR, something they couldn't experience at their home for the first time. And then that will evolve. It will evolve into, as the headsets become cheaper and more accessible, the role of people coming in and trying out the locations as a first experience will change into something that is like, I have to go study and I need to go and it becomes an education center, it becomes an exercise center, it becomes a hybrid use center, kind of like the internet cafes do. And so trying to understand what are the tools that's necessary in a consumer-focused area like a gym or an internet cafe or an arcade that need to be solved to enable all these experiences to really take off, right? And what are the interplays, right? So, fascinated by things like Springboard VR and what is its role in the back-end side on things like CleanBox, which is a new company, I'm not sure if you're familiar with them, makes a very, very cool tool that you put in and it will clean, use ultraviolets and stuff to clean your headsets between uses at arcades and at gyms and stuff like this. And then you tie that to the content creation side. So part of the reason I work on Quiver and part of the reason Quiver is so aggressive in our community outreach and trying to be supportive of arcades and making sure that we work with the Carcades to figure out a price that is sustainable for them, is that we need the ecosystem to be functional for the content creators, we need it to be functional for the content consumers, we need it to be functional for everybody who's making the hardware, all the incentives have to align. And so... This is not your original question. Your question was, what are the problems we're trying to solve? In health and exercise, certainly equipment that is designed to handle things like sweat and all that sort of stuff is super helpful. But we have not found that for the hardcore people who view this system as something that's going to save their life, that that's an inhibitor. They'll figure out how to work with that. The generations that's coming out are totally capable of being good at exercise. Our biggest issue is that we just don't see it. The current leadership in the industry, I think, has a blind spot to this. To some degree. Everybody understands, for the most part, that I think it has potential. But I think we're going to find it hits us a lot faster than we realize. Right. And finally, what do you think is kind of the ultimate potential of virtual reality and what it might be able to enable? The ultimate potential. Well, so first off, I view VR and AR to be highly comparable, meaning that I think they're going to merge as technologies over time. I mean, I don't think I have any more insight on that than any of the other people who have talked about replacing the desktop through, and I tell you that I think AR will go mainstream when I can be an accountant and I can go sit in an accountant's office, wear my VR goggles and work on Excel for a while, and get a cup of coffee, get up, walk, get the coffee, come back and sit back down and have never taken off the glasses. And at that point in time, the laptop will functionally cease to exist, because I can have a screen of any size, and I can do the most mundane tasks I can think of. I actually really like working with numbers. But I mean, it's not graphically intense. You do not have any reason to do it in VR or AR, except for the tool set itself makes it more accessible, meaning I can go to the coffee shop, carry my little box with me, and have a much larger monitor that makes me more productive, and some of this sort of thing. There also seems to be a health and wellness potential as well, just in terms of all the stuff that we've been talking about, in terms of where that could lead. Oh, I mean, not to mislead you, exercise in VR is one of my three verticals that I'm most interested in, but remote communications, like the holoportation stuff, and vocational education, like can I learn how to cook or to change a tire, I think are the other two areas that I just think that's amazing stuff, right? I want to be able to play board games with my father. Right now, I do exercise with my dad. He lives in Kansas. I live in California. I talked him into buying VR so we can play Racket X together. Because otherwise, you're not going to hang out with him. And so, and I was like, listen, I think you should buy this because he had open heart surgery a while back. And so when he got out of it, he had to go through rehabilitation. And he had a very specific requirement, is that he had to go in and exercise. His heart rate had to come up to a certain range and stay under a certain amount, right? And so I guess this is another thing. One of the things that I think is really interesting that we're going to see a lot of, and it's something that I'm working on personally, is what we're referring to as AI-enhanced or AI-responsive exercise. There's really, really cool things that can happen when there's a feedback mechanism between the human body and a game that has an intelligence behind it that can help you understand what your targets are, what your current state is, and can coach you invisibly through those targets without beating in your face that you're exercising. Or that it could be able to measure enough data from your body and correlate to what's happening in the game so that if you need to raise or lower your heart rate and keep it within a certain range that you're able to have like a dynamic experience where you're able to still play and have fun but have it kind of automatically regulated for you. Yeah, I mean, imagine facing off against a monster that's bigger than you and whether or not he attacks with punches that force you to dodge or his armor level or how strong you are all correlate or somehow are driven by the fact that you're trying to hit a certain level of physical motion in the game. And you get some really, really fun design things you can do as soon as you start realizing that AR and VR is not just an exercise equipment, but it's the first exercise equipment that's varied enough and has enough ability to change the environment that it being aware of what you're trying to get done like, it can do something, right? A treadmill is pretty dumb. It can get faster, it can get slower, it can get higher or lower in terms of elevation, but there's not a lot much where we can do that. And so, the reason I think that we're gonna get broadsided as an industry by exercise kind of exploding is because if you look at adoption by a non-technical crowd, exercise is one of the areas where technology trends faster than the rest of the market because I could not care at all about technology, but a Fitbit for me when I'm trying to get healthy is a big deal. And the number of people out there who are interested in being healthy for various different reasons is quite substantial. And so when you're looking for places where technology makes the leap from the kind of the hardcore to the general consumer, that's actually one of the groups that's been a pretty early adopter on a lot of certain things. And so what I'm focused on is trying to lay the groundwork specifically in this vertical so that when that happens, there's enough supporting infrastructure for it to do well, as well as VR in general. So one of the other things that I work on is what we refer to as VR caretakers. And VR Caretakers is modeled off of, are you familiar with the Homebrew Computer Club? Yeah, yeah. Okay, so back to Steve Jobs and Wozniak days. So I have a philosophy or a theory. In an established market, when a company starts and it fails, it just starts and it fails. It doesn't really do anything else. But in an emergent market where there's very limited expertise, A company will start and most of them will fail like the rest. But the companies that succeed need extra talent. And there's no existing extra talent base of people to hire from. And so the only people they can go to who are experts in the field are the people who started things that failed. And so unlike a traditional market, when an emergent market grows, things fail into each other, right? I'm willing to bet that if you went back and, I actually tried to do this once where I looked up a bunch of the people on the newsletter list from the homebrew computer clubs, but like, if you went back and looked, I bet you that any person that was in that homebrew computer club that stayed in computers probably did okay. They went to work for Microsoft or Apple. They might have started a company, might have failed, and they went into some sort of senior level position because there was no other expertise pool to pull from. And in which case then, while VR as a whole is very, individual practices in VR is very risky, if VR is successful in the long run, being involved in VR and learning VR skill sets is actually a pretty safe long-term bet. Just like starting a computer company in the 1980s would have been risky, but studying computers in the 1980s was a pretty safe bet, right? But that only works if there's a connective thread. People need to know, the community that is creating content, the people who are doing companies, they need to know that we all exist. Who has needs, who has surplus resources. And with the Humber Computer Club, which I believe had the motto of something like giving to help others or something like this, it was a physical location. There was access to hardware that was easier in this area, in the Silicon Valley area, than elsewhere. But now, in the distributed universe, you know, you could be in Florida working on a video game, you might be in Australia, you might be in the United States, you could be almost anywhere in the world working on something that's really incredible. And so, we have to go out of our way to make sure that those, that community knows each other. And so, VR Caretaker is just a group of people that, in the less cheesy form, to be invited because you agree with the comment that we will be successful by helping others be successful. I much prefer the secondary one, which is we will achieve our dreams by helping other people achieve theirs. Either way, though, you give me a group of people who are cool to hang out with, who believe that's true, that have an interest in VR and AR being successful, and I believe that group will ultimately be successful. Can I be a part of that club? I would love you to be a part of that club. I want, as long as you, well do you agree with those statements? Yeah, I do. Then yes, then yes. If not, then no. Well, I think that there's this concept of the yen currency, that the more you give, the more you get. And in talking to different blockchain technologists, Joseph Poon was in an interview I did on The Voices of VR, where I was at the Decentralized Web Summit. And he's doing his blockchain startup where they're giving away a lot of their cryptocurrency away to the contributors. So it's kind of like this, they're trying to create value and create these ecosystems of value. So the more you give away, the more value you get. So as a podcaster, the more information I give, the more information I get. communal yen currency cooperative aspect that you can still have coopetition, which I think is happening in the blockchain. But yeah, I think in these early days of VR, it's kind of this interesting thing to see that I think you're right, is that there will be these things that start up and then they fail and then they get absorbed by Facebook or these other entities or Google or whatever else. We've already seen that with Altspace and Microsoft and the different people that were involved with that getting spread out and working for Mozilla and Facebook and wherever else. So we're already starting to see that happening now. No, in fact, there's three books that form a lot of the foundations for my worldviews of business development. And one of them is Give and Take by Adam Grant. If you've never read it, it's fantastic. It's all about reciprocity style in business. Is it better to be a giver, a taker, or a matcher? And I like it because it perfectly reinforces the worldview I want to have to be real, which is that it can be very detrimental at first to be a giver because you end up giving a lot of yourself out and helping other people be successful. But when you start moving into economies where people work with who they want to work with, when they have projects that are group projects, it is a hugely successful form of working with people, of being successful in your careers, to be kind, essentially. The other one is the innovator's dilemma and blue ocean strategy. And the VR market right now is entirely, are you familiar with the term? So blue ocean strategy is essentially, like, a new market is a blue ocean because there's no blood in the water. And then a red ocean is a market that everybody's customer comes from somebody else losing a customer. So blue oceans are of unknown size because they're just getting started, but they didn't have very, very high profit margins because nobody's competing with you. And then as it grows, it attracts more people and then competition starts. So VR is very blue ocean right now in the sense that If I want to do something cool in VR, I don't have to go compete with somebody. There's a bazillion things that need to be done and tried out and explored that we haven't gotten to yet. So with like Quiver, for example, we have tried to adopt a radical transparency policy where we actually publish our design doc for everything we're planning on doing specifically for our competitors. I mean, we do it for our customers as well, but I'm convinced we're like, this is the path we want to take Quiver. How do we want to keep somebody else from getting in the way of that? Let's just tell them we're going there. And the next person that comes along and wants to do an archery game, they can be like, well, we can compete with Quiver, or we can do this other interesting thing that's also going to be different. And so the easiest way in a blue ocean to keep people from doing your stuff is to tell them you're doing it. And then anybody who's not creative enough to accomplish something cooler on their own is probably not going to be a very particular threat. So blue ocean and then innovators dilemma if you're familiar with that one at all or not I've heard of it, but I don't know Basically it talks about the role of so I I read that book three times in my life the very first two times taught me one thing when I was still working on my first startup and then it taught me a second thing after I sold my startup to Apple like the first time it taught me why it was, as a startup owner, why I should not be afraid of large companies. There is a role that startups have that is completely separate from what a large established company does. After you go through and you have a chance to work in VC groups and you work in larger companies, you start understanding what kind of pressures are operating inside these companies that make it hard for them to make very well-intentioned decisions that are catching the rising technology waves. What the innovators dilemma essentially is about is why it is that the major companies in the world, like say AT&T in the past or Microsoft or any of these large guys, why they don't stay at the top forever, right? Because they have all the customer access, they have all the money, the resources, the best minds, they have access to technology and to distribution channels. Why once they get there do they ever stop being the big dog for all time? And the problem has to do with market size to market return, right? So if you are a large company that needs $100 million return a year in order to successfully grow your business, you have to ignore a million dollar market, right? You can't spend $10 million to go in and say, I'm going to be able to get all 100% million dollars, right? Okay, so a classic example of this, and I'm paraphrasing innovators dilemma and probably poorly, was like the development of the flash drive. which is, you know, when the first flash drive was created, it was very expensive, low capacity, low energy memory, right? And the people who built it, I can't remember the name of which company first developed it, but they made large scale server farm style hard drive capacity, and the development people said, we can do this, and then the marketing people went back to their existing customer base and said, listen, would you guys be interested in this super high cost, low capacity, low energy memory? And all the server people were like, no, that has no use for us at all. Like, why would we pay 10 times as much to get a 10? What I want is to make a 10% greater capacity drive, and I'll buy $10 million of that today. And so they went back to the researchers and said, listen, we've asked all our customers, and we estimate the size of the market for this function is very, very small. It wasn't until flash drives came about, and then cell phones, where small, low energy consumption drives, where that was useful, that that had a market. But it started small, because the early adopter Again, going out to cell phones, the very first cell phones were these humongous, expensive suitcases that had bad cell phone quality, and they were just horrible in every way, right? But to a very, very small group, like early responders, to the military, the portability function of it was valuable enough that they would overlook all the crap that underperformed the existing telephone. And then, that small group might have been a million dollars at first, and then they improve the quality a little bit, and it goes to 1.5 million, and they improve the quality again, it goes to 2 million, and they keep this iterative cycle. And so what happens is, in an emerging technology, it almost always underperforms the existing technology, up until a day where suddenly it doesn't. And that day is when you walk into the store, and the average customer looks at the cell phone, and looks at the thing plugged into the wall, and says, the call quality's about the same, the price is about the same, They're all key features that are about the same, but this one's portable. Why would I ever buy the old technology? And then what it looks like from the outside is that there's that disruption, that sudden switch where it goes from one side to the other. But it got there through years of iteration off of a smaller core base, which is what we're seeing. And then you take the Blue Ocean strategy. and say, okay, during that evolutionary period, how do we play together? Well, you take the give and take concept and say, we're going to grow together. You put all these things together and it's like, Hey, let's just have a lot of fun doing this stuff. And if someday in the future, when the market grows, we will demonstrate value. Yeah, it's like this technology diffusion curve that... No, no, but I wanted to ask one other follow-up question, because you said that you play VR exercise with your father, and I'm just curious, like, if you use Discord chat to be able to communicate, if you communicate within VR, if you go and hang out in VR afterwards, or... Actually, you caught me there, so... That has been the limitation, actually. So he has a Vive, and the technical... This is one of the barriers that VR is facing in general, right? I can certainly keep my system up and running. I go over, I set him up. He's a fairly technical guy, but he likes to fiddle with things. And so it does not take long for little barriers like Wi-Fi connectivity issues and that sort of stuff to make it just too complex. Too many things have to line up properly. And so figuring out the communication pipelines, scheduling when we're gonna get together, all this sort of stuff has been the Achilles heel of the whole intent. And so while we do it, we don't do it nearly as much as we want because it takes an hour worth of phone calls in advance to get it going, and then it's really fun while you're doing it, and then next time you come back you have to do it again. But yeah, we Discord. We either call and FaceTime, get to a point where one of us can hang up. So you call until you can hear the person in the system, and then you hang up. Anyways. I see. Cool. Great. Is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the VR community? Oh, I mean, for what it's worth in terms of like a random voice from the internet, I believe that the VR and AR trajectory is exuding exactly what I expected it to do and exactly what it's healthy for it to be doing. You know, you hear a lot about the ebbs and flows of interest in the investment space and of technology adoption. I do not think that if VR took off tomorrow that we would be really well prepared to take advantage of it. We need this period of time where we are not under the thumb of huge pressure from investments, not under the thumb to try to scale beyond the size of the market that exists today too quickly in order to be prepared for when that takes off. The world will come around to the value propositions that these things are putting on the table. Well, our job right now is to sustain the fight long enough for us to learn those lessons to make it successful. Can I say one other thing? So I remember back when I was working at Book Lamp, my first startup, there was a period I questioned everything I did. Startups are hard. I remember going into a board meeting once and pulling over to the side of the road and bawling my eyes out for 10 minutes at like 7 p.m. at night because I was starting to quit that day if I didn't get something to happen. There's a lot of energy that goes into them, there's a lot of passion. And what was very valuable to me was somebody who was in the industry, who had seen these things before, who had worked with successful people before, who were willing to look at me and say, I don't know if you're going to be successful, but I don't see anything about you that makes it clear that you're not going to be successful. You've got a shot that's reasonable. People looking at me and saying that kept me going when I would have otherwise maybe given up. And I think VR is filled with a world right now where from the outside, VR can seem like something that maybe, maybe it's crazy to work on. Just like at some point in time back in the day, saying you wanted to grow up and make video games was a crazy thing to say. It was not a viable career path. So I guess this is me saying, you know, stick with it. We're getting there. Awesome. Great. Well, just wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and all this data and information, but also the background and this vision of how you make sense of what's happening in the ecosystem. Because I think we're all trying to figure it out. And it's a good model to kind of see that it's going to be a long road, and that we're continuing to make progress on it, and that each of us have some part to play. And yeah, everybody's trying to figure out what's happening and what they can do to participate. So I just wanted to thank you for that. Absolutely. Thank you for being interested in the entire ecosystem as well as anything I might have to say. Thank you for what you do. So that was Aaron Stanton. He's the executive producer of Quiver as well as the director of the Virtual Reality Institute for Health and Exercise. So I have a number of different takeaways about this interview is that first of all, it's super interesting to hear that there's these metabolic equivalent scores and that a lot of these VR experiences were able to take people to their metabolic max but yet the people who were doing that didn't perceive as if they were actually working all that hard, which I find super interesting on a number of fronts. First of all, I think that reinforces the concept that people may be actually getting exercise in VR, but they don't really perceive that they are because they're just having fun and they don't feel like what exercise normally feels like, which is just this burning pain and it's not a lot of fun, and that they could not have this concept that doing something like this in VR could actually be exercise. The other thing is that he's making the claim that virtual reality has the ability to provide the highest number of painless exercise over any other type of exercise that's currently available. There's this pain reduction theories for the spotlight theory and different things that are actually happening neurologically and there could be something in terms of presence and being able to actually add a sense of gamification and your problem solving and your thinking in your mind but also you're taking action and your body's moving and so rather than what usually happens when you're exercising, which is you're just focusing on your body and your pain, there's this kind of inherent pain reduction aspect to be able to do things like Beat Saber and other exercise games that are going to be coming out in a Rave Runner, Audio Shield, Quiver, Space Pirate Trainer, Basically any a game that where you're exerting yourself in many different ways could actually be giving yourself exercise It was really fascinating to hear his perspective on the different types of play that are within Beat Saber is that there's one where you're really focusing on accuracy which is that you're making the full swing that you possibly can and it's a really long motions and takes a lot of energy to just hit one block and in the stream games it's much more efficient in a sense that you're flicking your wrists up and down but it's more of a consistent movement over a long period of times and that there could actually be a little bit of equivalence between those two where depending on whether or not you're doing the stream type or the big long motions that there could be exerting overall the same relative amount of energy at least within the standard deviation. So it could be that even though it feels like you're just kind of flicking your wrist around, that could actually still be a legitimate form of exercise. But you know, what I would say is that there's probably different dimensions of different muscle groups and the games that are really encouraging you to move your full body, I suspect are going to have like other things that maybe not be reflected in this metabolic equivalent score. But overall, I'd have to agree with Aaron Stanton that the way that things are going is that virtual reality could be considered this revolutionary exercise machine, this exercise equipment. It was really interesting to hear him say that he has an elliptical, a treadmill, and a stationary bike, and how he's spent about 100 or 120 hours playing these various different exercise modifications of AudioShield, and that he's spent way more time exercising in VR than he has probably collectively of all these other exercise equipment that he has. He said that the virtual reality is the most effective exercise machine that he's ever had, and that there is this dip off in interest where it's kind of interesting and novel when you first get some of these machines, but then you get very bored and it just doesn't seem to be very rewarding. But yet, month over month, you could refresh the content by just getting more games that are out there. And part of what the Virtual Reality Institute for Health and Exercise wants to do is to give these scores to these different games so that as long as you're trying to at least pass the different levels, then what a normal or average player has to exert themselves in order to play, then putting some sort of number on that so you can get some sense of how much exercise you may be exerting while you're playing some of these games. and if there ends up being other experiences that people start to move on and start to lose weight. I know there's been a number of different stories of people who have been able to lose a whole bunch of weight by playing virtual reality exercise experiences. In fact, Job Stouffer is somebody I spoke to right before I did this interview. He's now with Orpheus Self Care and he's been playing a lot of Rave Runner, which I'm excited to see and to play. I've been playing a lot of Beat Saber lately, but I'm also curious to see another take which is more about trying to get you into a flow state and moving your entire body around, but trying to get into this dancing and yoga inspiration of having your body put into the experience. And finally, I did actually have a chance to play the Dead and Buried, which was actually a lot of fun. The tracking on the Oculus Quest to be able to roam around was really quite good. They told us not to run around and I was kind of running around and they actually had to come up to me and tell me not to run around and then I decided to just openly walk around as much as I could. I got shot and killed quite a bit, but I was trying to test the VR technology rather than to win that one single match. It seemed to do a great job of being able to really keep tracking. I didn't lose a tracking in any moment and I really put it through its paces, I thought, and did a great job of both keeping track of my hands and being able to track the world that was around me. Now, the thing that I really wonder is how well something like the Oculus Quest is going to be able to really handle something like Beat Saber when you're really moving your hands quite quickly. And, you know, sometimes I even lose tracking on the Vive. And as I was watching the Beat Saber Elements tournament, People at the most elite level sometimes have their tracking that drops when it's going at such a high pace. And so I really see Beat Saber as a game that really pushes the VR technologies to the limits. So I'm curious to see how that translates into playing Beat Saber in a system like Oculus Quest. That'd be a great baseline for me to be able to take somebody who is an expert player and to be able to go in and do an equivalent run and to see how well it holds up. And Aaron just put out a video yesterday making a bet for John Carmack saying that by 2020 that virtual reality exercise is going to be one of the most important markets for the consumer of virtual reality and that we'll see. I mean, I think that Aaron is gathering a lot of evidence and data to see that this is a larger trend and he's doing everything he can to be able to set down the groundwork so that the overall industry can be able to move forward and really support things that would be needed in this larger ecosystem. Whether it's this clean box to be able to clean the headsets or just making the headsets so that they're able to be a little bit more resistant to sweat or some things that you can put on top of it to be able to deal with these types of things. So that's all that I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoyed the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a listener-supported podcast, and so I do rely upon your donations in order to continue to bring you this coverage. So you can donate today at patreon.com slash Voices of VR. Thanks for listening.