Published: 07th March 2017
No more dreary workouts. With LoopFit, exercise can actually be fun
This immersive multiplayer VR fitness solution allows its users to experience outdoor environments, indoors
There’s always a list of excuses to miss an outdoor workout session, isn’t there? From poor weather conditions to boring solo workouts, we quickly lose the urge to exercise. Well, fret not! Introducing virtual reality into the world of fitness, Jignesh Talasila has designed LoopFit, an immersive multiplayer VR fitness solution that allows its users to experience outdoor environments, indoors.
The GITAM University alumnus founded the start-up, Loop Reality in 2016 and designed LoopFit, allowing people to experience a fun, outdoorsy workout from the comfort of their home. It brings to the user a perfect amalgamation of technologies like VR, IoT and analytics, serving as the future of indoor fitness training. "After my graduation in 2012, I was working in a software company for a year, but I quit my job to educate children in an innovative way. I quickly realised that the children needed laboratory kits to elevate their education, but many schools couldn’t afford it," said Jignesh, CEO of the company.
With the intent of introducing virtual reality into education, Jignesh set out to design a virtual laboratory kit, but failed to do so. Instead, he began designing basic games at an affordable cost. This eventually pushed him to experiment further and combine virtual reality with an indoor exercise cycle. "When we started the product design in 2016, we experimented in countries where people found it difficult to cycle outdoors, especially during winter. Now, with LoopFit, they can work out at home with a virtual headset, giving them the experience of riding a cycle on different terrains, complete with obstacles and animals,” he said.
In 2016, they become the first VR team from India to participate in TechCrunch Disrupt, San Francisco, where they began pitching for investors. But, momentum picked up in Portugal. "It was during our visit to the Web Summit in Portugal in 2016, when we received good response from the Portugal government, who wanted us to launch the product. With gyms and health clubs as potential customers, we have already started reaching out with the aim of launching the product by the end of April, costing approximately `3 lakh," explained Jignesh.
With a bunch of young graduates at hand, the analytical team is working to understand how different environments influence heart rate while riding a cycle. Once the product is launched, they plan to launch a mobile version at an affordable price, which can be used at home as well. LoopFit has, so far, found a foothold in countries like India, USA, Germany and Portugal.
How does LoopFit work?
Attached to a fitness cycle, the virtual headset provides the experience of an outdoor environment. Connected to a computer-linked software, once the person starts riding the cycle, he will be taken into a virtual experience — crossing lakes, climbing hills and overcoming obstacles. With gears to create friction, the IoT sensors measure the speed. It can also be connected to a watch, which will monitor the calories burnt and pulse rate.