Icaros GmbH is a startup based in Munich and has come up with a unique way to encourage and motivate people into exercising more. The fitness system that it has created is a combination of physical world and the virtual world. It allows you to become the character of the game and lets you move around while you work out your main muscle groups. The company is hopeful that this contraption will motivate those who have started avoiding gym.
It has been designed by HYVE Innovation Design that is also known for the carbon fiber Gridboard and electric skateboard paddling. The machine may look a bit complex and some kind of torture device, but looks can be deceiving. User rests the elbows and knees in the cradles while kneeling on Icaros and grabbing hold of the handlebars.
The wireless gaming system features a control unit that has been mounted on the handlebar. It is capable of tracking movement and connects to the game running on PC or smartphone. Once the user puts on the virtual reality headset, the game begins! The machine allows the user to slide legs and arms, tilt forward and backward while being able to roll from side to side thus allowing the user to control in-game movement and providing a workout in the process. The company claims that the Icaros provides a detailed workout of neck, chest, abs, shoulders, quads and other muscle groups while also claiming that it improves balance, concentration and reflexes.
Icaros CEO, Michael Schmidt, says that the users run out of energy before the batteries give out. However, from our point of view; such systems require some really compelling games in order to bring users to this platform. This aspect is being worked upon. As of now, Icaros’ website talks about a simplistic flight simulator that allows the user to fly through the trees and above the Alps. This is neat, no doubt, but not something that would motivate users to get off from the couch and play it.
Schmidt says, “We are currently working on an air pursuit game, an air race game and a tutorial, which hones the pilot’s skills. Our goal is to provide at least four additional games in 2016, which will include a motorcycle race, an air fight, a multiplayer air race and a submarine obstacle run. Each game will have specific training modes.”
The launch model is available for pre-ordering with a price tag of $8,200 minus the VAT and shipping. The package will include the fitness machines, controller, Samsung Gear VR headset and access to the app. Deliveries are slated for late March 2016. Icaros has its eyes set on business such as gyms and hotels, however, talks about the possibility of coming up with a home-version of the machine as well. Icaros will be carrying demonstrations in the upcoming gadget shows. Recently, it also won the ISPO BrandNew Award. Check out the video below for more details: