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.
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