What will be the metaverse’s “killer app”? Virtual exercises are an unexpected activity that can help give some momentum to the challenging idea of interconnected and virtual communities. Video calling, virtual meetings, and gaming are sure to be prominent.
Some ideas about the metaverse seem to depend on people’s willingness to spend numerous hours inside virtual reality headsets live as avatars in those worlds. That seems improbable. Short encounters could be far more appealing in environments with VR and AR devices, such as immersive video chats in a home office, gaming sessions in the living room, or virtual workouts at home or in a gym or health club using metaverse technology.
In other words, more entertaining exercise routines may be done alone or with others in a digital environment. Bring on the fitness immersive gamification.
Fitness Metaverse: VR Fitness Technology
According to a Fortune Business Insights analysis, the adoption of fitness technology will cause the VR gaming market to grow from $7.92 billion in 2021 to $53.44 billion in 2028. The market for VR fitness equipment has gradually grown alongside the popularity of VR gaming, partly because of the COVID-19 epidemic. The Welltodo 2022 Consumer Wellness Trends Report claims that Gen-Z is more likely to adopt a fitness routine that is both interesting and nutritious. New fitness technology will emerge in the future, including immersive workouts that incorporate all elements of a gym setting and feature instructors, music, and images that can elevate your exercises.
What exactly are virtual workouts?
A virtual workout is similar to a real workout in that it requires people to exert themselves while exercising, with the key difference being the surroundings. Training digitally entails joining people and exercising with them in the virtual environment utilising augmented reality devices like glasses or headsets.
No matter where they are physically, as long as they have access to the virtual gym and the right tools, people may interact with each other and qualified trainers. Despite being a virtual gym, customers still need to use actual exercise equipment like ellipticals, treadmills, and weights.
For instance, you can play tennis with a friend in the virtual world instead of by yourself. The platform will provide virtual tennis rackets and balls; all you need is enough room to move around and have fun. Another illustration is bodybuilding in the Metaverse fitness centre; although you must still lift weights physically, you can exercise there and communicate with a virtual personal trainer.
Traditional versus online gyms
For certain games, virtual gyms require traditional ones to function effectively. In the meanwhile, it can offer a variety of sports and the best possible experience without traditional gyms. The key distinctions between the two are as follows:
- People who want to work out with others must appear in a specific spot at traditional gyms. People can just connect from anywhere to a virtual gym to train or compete against others.
- In conventional gyms, there must be travel time and expenses. Virtual gyms, on the other hand, can help since people can work out in their backyards and yet interact online.
- While virtual gyms can accommodate an unlimited number of users at once, conventional gyms have a maximum capacity.
- While virtual gyms fully embrace social distancing, traditional gyms may pose health risks in situations of illnesses like COVID-19.
- Traditional gyms only offer a limited number of professional training programmes, however, in virtual gyms, coaches from different gyms across the world can join.
- Contrary to virtual gyms, where organising tournaments is simple and accessible, traditional gyms are unable to arrange ongoing competitions, contests, and games.
- Traditional gyms contain the essential training equipment, however, virtual gyms don’t because they can only provide a setting and a communication channel.
- Virtual gyms can offer detailed training information that helps monitor performance and indicates potential improvements whereas traditional gyms are unable to deliver activity data.
Virtual Workouts That Are Immersive
Many people prefer to perform their cardio in the gym or at home, whether it’s to avoid the summer heat or keep annoying insects at bay. A jogging machine or a peloton bike may display a modest 10-inch screen displaying a basic CGI environment of a forest, beach, or riverside path as a feeble attempt to bring the outdoors to you if you want to exercise indoors. However, fitness technology can greatly enhance your experience.
You may be surrounded by 360-degree sceneries of your choice and the corresponding noises to make it feel real with simply a virtual reality headset. With advancements in exercise technology, you might actually feel like running along a beach in the future.
Due to advancements in fitness technology and the COVID-19 pandemic’s shelter-in-place regulations, the popularity of virtual workouts has significantly expanded. The virtual fitness technology industry, according to Global News Wire, was estimated to be worth a little over $6,046 million USD in 2019, but after the pandemic, it was expected to rise to $59,231 million USD by 2027. Since consumers want more autonomy to access fitness sessions at their convenience and choose their own training regimens, level of difficulty, and trainers, businesses are responding to this desire with exciting online fitness technology services.
After trying them out during the epidemic when gyms were closed, those who had never utilised guided internet workouts before are now addicted to them. Demand for fitness technologies has never been higher.
Gamify Your Exercises
Many businesses have come up with inventive ways to motivate couch potatoes to exercise by converting exercises into games with the use of fitness technology. Like in other games, a compelling plot draws players in and keeps them playing. However, in order to complete missions and challenges, users must go around rather than sit in their rooms and moving their thumbs. In the blockchain game Dustland Runner, players assume the character of a “dust runner” who must gather and deliver mysterious cargo in a post-apocalyptic desert full of bandits and creatures. For some people, starting to move can be greatly encouraged by the additional enjoyment.
Move to Earn Model
For completing in-game missions, certain fitness technology games reward players with in-game tokens and NFTs. For instance, OliveX, a mobile blockchain game, asks players to run various distances outside while holding their smartphone. Users receive virtual incentives for finishing activities, such as NFTs and DOGE tokens, which they can spend to level up games or exchange on cryptocurrency and NFT exchanges. People may be motivated to exercise by using this type of fitness technology paradigm.
Spatial Voice Chat
Along with enabling user-to-user communication within the programme or game, it also considers the user’s location and modifies sound direction and volume accordingly. Given how crucial it is to the user’s immersion in our environment, we decided to include this functionality in the programme. Mirror by itself does not offer any methods for integrating voice or text messages into the programme.
To support this capability, a variety of assets are available in the Unity Asset Store, including Photon Voice, Agora, Vivox, and Dissonance. If you decide to use Mirror in your application, Dissonance offers built-in integration with Mirror, making it a wise choice. Agora was chosen for our PoC instead of Dissonance because it is a paid asset available in the Unity Asset Store.
Fitness brands are embracing the metaverse!!
A new trend for digital universes centred on fitness brands is currently on the rise. The online gaming platform Roblox recently welcomed Nikeland. In Nikeland, an immersive virtual environment where Nike fans can engage in competition and, you guessed it, purchase Nike goods, you can virtually go swimming or play dodgeball. The accelerometers in cell phones are used to capture physical body motions online. Unlike the old nunchucks that the Nintendo Wii used, it isn’t all that.
Adidas has joined The Sandbox, a virtual reality fitness platform developed by OliveX, which already features fitness content from Team GB and Adidas.OliveX recently signed with fitness studio brand TRIB3 as well as exercise equipment manufacturer Gym Aesthetics and outdoor play firm PlayInnovation. TRIB3 claims that users would be able to run alongside the avatars of their friends in their metaverse. So to get you hooked on exercising in the metaverse, consider celebrity-led fitness classes, branded content, and earn-as-you-sweat exercise sessions and games.
Technologies that Empower the Metaverse Fitness Applications
Blockchain: The technology behind cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and smart contracts is called a blockchain. Blockchain is frequently referred to as a basis for the metaverse due to its distributed and decentralised nature, potentially enabling the concept of digital asset ownership. Although blockchain contributes to one of the essential elements of the metaverse, it may not be necessary for the metaverse to exist. However, despite the fact that major IT companies like Microsoft Mesh and NVIDIA Omniverse are already investing in technology that supports the metaverse, they are not yet acknowledging or marketing Blockchain capabilities.
Extended Reality- XR will undoubtedly play a significant role in the metaverse because it enables a user’s complete immersion. Even so, XR won’t be a must because the metaverse is anticipated to be very accessible, and XR restrictions could, for instance, hinder persons with disabilities or access to the necessary technology.
Pose detection: A common theme in computer vision is pose detection. Although it is rarely associated with the metaverse, this technology can improve and facilitate interactions in a virtual environment. It is a good alternative to pricey XR equipment because it is feasible to track user movements and facial expressions using a computer or smartphone camera.
UI/UX: The same concepts of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) apply when designing for virtual reality as they do for desktop, mobile, or any other widely used platform. It implies that you must adhere to the standard design process, which entails gathering business requirements, defining the scope, prototyping, and user testing, in order to design for VR, AR, or XR. For instance, spatial awareness is useful while producing for VR, and it’s a good idea to observe the real world, which is actually the foundation for 3D. It is crucial to emphasize that when designing for the metaverse, the user interface should be as natural and fluid as possible and the immersive experience should be as realistic as feasible, even though methods and best practices for XR are still being developed.
3D modelling: As it already is for many industries, including gaming and film, 3D modelling will play a significant role in developing immersive environments. Companies creating metaverse games already use tools like Unity and Unreal Engine to make this process easier (Decentraland and The Sandbox for example).
Evolving the Fitness Application
Integration of VR headsets: VR would enable total immersion in the virtual gym. Both participants and trainers could have a more realistic experience, one that is significantly closer to what they would have if they were all performing the exercises in the same room, with the participant’s movements and camera positioning being controlled by the combination of VR equipment and an external camera. Additionally, VR technology can track users’ motions more accurately.
NFTs: NFTs may be used to track ownership of avatar modification items like footwear and attire. They might also be used to track who owns specific gym equipment in the real world. As an illustration, a person might purchase a spinning bike in the real world and then obtain an NFT that enables him to register it in the gym metaverse. This gym equipment NFTs might be used to open up new features in the gym metaverse, allowing users to take virtual spinning classes, for instance.
Simultaneous Translation: As text-to-speech, translation services, and speech-to-text technology continue to advance, and simultaneous voice translation can be used to promote successful communication between speakers of various languages.
Cryptocurrencies and smart tokens: Blockchain-backed smart tokens and cryptocurrency could be used to monetise application interactions. For attending classes, both the trainer and the pupils could receive token rewards. In the gym metaverse, these tokens might be used to pay for in-app content like accessories to modify your avatar or even to hire a trainer for one-on-one or group workouts.
Technology gives us the ability to accomplish our goals, but it can also prevent people from forming healthy habits. Metaverse fitness is probably going to reach new audiences (like gamers) and aid them in getting healthier as they engage in exercise-based video games.
For the time being, it appears that the fitness metaverse will likely not replace gyms and real-world coaches anytime soon, but will instead support existing efforts.
The next step for fitness firms is to decide whether their current purchases (such as those for technology or equipment) will move them closer to the fitness metaverse. In order to assist you in getting ready for what is ahead, Perfect Gym can integrate with a wide range of partners.