VirZOOM Virtual Reality Exercise Bike and Games
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- VirZOOM Virtual Reality Bike and VirZOOM Arcade games included. Play VR. Get Fit.
- VirZOOM is currently compatible with the Samsung GearVR (S8 or S8+), Playstation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Headsets. (VR Headsets Sold Separately)
- The VirZOOM Bike has integrated speed and direction sensors.
- Includes an evolving suite of VirZOOM arcade games: Be the car in the race, the tank in battle, the pegasus in flight... on VirZOOM!
- VirZOOM Bike Controller is completely wireless via Bluetooth connectivity, accurately measures heart rate, offers 8 tension control resistance settings, weighs 39 pounds and folds up for easy storage.
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The VirZOOM Virtual Reality Game System includes a folding VR bike controller and the continuously evolving VirZOOM Arcade games that motivate you to pedal! VirZOOM is currently compatible with PlayStationVR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift (Headset Sold Separately). Play VR games. Get fit.
From the Manufacturer
VirZOOM is a folding VR bike controller with integrated sensors that measure your pedaling speed. The faster you pedal in the real world, the faster you move in the virtual world. Steer by leaning your body to each side. Action buttons, triggers and d-pad on the handlebars enable advanced game-play.
VirZOOM Arcade is free to play with the VirZOOM gaming system and includes 5 VR exercise games that continuously evolve on a regular basis included for free! Play in workout modes such as: Online Multiplayer, Quick-play, Timed, Award Challenge or Hot Seat as well as online leaderboard competitions.
Power a T-90 tank in a rugged landscape and battle against other online players and AI bots
Fly a winged Pegasus in a giant beautiful canyon. Don’t forget to eat apples for energy
Get ready to race. The setting: you are a dog… in the cockpit of a race car with multiple exciting tracks. Make good use of your mirrors and gears to stay ahead.
• PC Gamepad Emulator: Play Existing VR games by mapping game controls to the VirZOOM Bike. • Free Unity SDK: Create your own VirZOOM games • Free Strava Integration and MyVirZOOM fitness tracking.
Describe your product in 3 words.
Fun Healthy Gaming
How did you come up with the idea for this product?
Traditional gaming is often sedentary. VirZOOM Introduces virtual reality as a differentiating medium to truly immerse users and motivate them to move. A workout without the work.
What makes your product special?
The VirZOOM VR bike controller is completely wireless, folds up for easy storage and weighs under 40 lbs. VirZOOM Arcade always has new content to keep you motivated. Finally a fun workout!
What has been the best part of your startup experience?
Working with a world class development team to bring an exciting VR product that is not only insanely fun, but is also good for you!
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The packaging is more than adequate and product is fine and it makes a handy fold-up exercise bike on it's own. It was easy to assemble and came with the tools needed. I wouldn't say it feels industrial grade, but it's light, portable and takes up little space when folded. The seat post wobbles a bit if you're really grinding away but I ran it pretty hard and it held up ok. I'm average height for an american male and pretty lean so I'm not sure what somebody 6" taller and carrying 100lbs more weight would do to it at a full gallop. The seat is comfy enough for the short durations I've used it. There is a height adjustable post on it (which is great) that is a bit of pain to change because the pin is threaded and has to be unscrewed (many I've seen have a spring/pin system). So it's not ideal to change if you have two users of varying heights, but it's no deal breaker. There are no noticeable adjustments for handlebar position and the intended posture is more up-right than a serious rider might enjoy (Accessory idea: drop handle bars guys?). The handlebars themselves are probably the least durable feeling part of the unit. They are kind of a cheap feeling plastic that houses an array of buttons (which apparently can be used as a controllers in other games). They also house heart rate monitor sensors like many decent bikes. Tension/resistance is adjusted by a dial on the post that is easy to access even "in game."
Setup and configuration:
So the bike takes some AA batteries (included). and in that compartment is a small Wireless USB dongle (more of a nub really). I had to read the directions because I did expect the bike to pair when I turned it on with the USB plugged into my PC. It didn't. You've gotta run the VirZoom Arcade (I'm using the Vive so I down;loaded it via Steam). From there it walks you through some steps, clicking the trigger buttons and such. Nothing complicated. Wisely, they suggest you get on the unit and then get into the VR. My PC rig is pretty intense (Win10, 1TB SSD, dual Geforce 1080s in SLI, and 24GB of RAM) and I've had the Vive working well for a while already. I had no issues with the software setup, other than the first calibration I did had me listing left a bit which makes the menus hard to use because left and right in the games are based on leaning/tilting (Options setting to use the direction buttons for menu selections would be cool). That takes a little learning, but as long as you calibrate it right not a problem. It calibrates each time you start which is easy and takes about 5 seconds. There's no wires on the thing to plug in anywhere (except to connect the handles bars during assembly) that's a really good design feature in my present VR space where I have a half dozen trip hazards dangling off me and I'm wearing a $700 blindfold most of the time. Make sure to point the Bike at your monitor so you can see the non-headset instructions (it also makes a handy TV if you don't want to do the whole VR thing for a while). You might also want a small table in arms reach for the Vive controllers and a water bottle. (VirZoom doesn't use the hand controllers, but I think it'd be cool to tie them into some of the games - maybe just use 1 hand for safety, but as a cowboy on horseback a six-gun would be mighty handy)
Things are a bit wonkier here, the games I've played have some variety and have a simple but solid look and feel. You can ride Pegasus, rope cowboys on horseback, paddle around in a kayak chasing ducks, practice aerial assaults in a helicopter, race cars around a track, drive a tank through a war-torn countryside exchanging volleys with other tanks. You can also just ride a bike in a road race (As if you'd be so easily amused), and I believe you can ride against real online opponents and some AI. So, the graphics aren't going to blow you away, but they achieve a reasonable immersion level. The games are easy to figure out and use the same control patterns so going between them is easy enough. They have some "leveling up" gear and experiences you can earn along the way too. You'll probably want to cycle through the games a bit as they can be monotonous. Not nearly as monotonous as grinding away on a bike trainer staring at the walls of your dank basement. So the games prove a good distraction and had me pumping my heart out trying to evade enemy fire or herd the ducks over to grandma. Nice thing about software is that new experiences are easy to roll out so if the platform does well, we'll have more options. The menu system is a bit frustrating and it makes switching games a bit clumsy when you're rolling along and just looking to have a change of pace without slowing down much. They offer some options that appear to cycle you through the games automatically, but I haven't tried that much. The only other thing I wish is that the resistance could change via software, this would make climbs and hills seem more daunting, since in some environments (like flying) you can sort of coast down, going back up should take more output.
Motion Sickness/VR locomotion problems:
Full disclosure, I get motion sickness. I'm actually pretty bad. I get it on boats in almost calm water, reading in cars, even when flying. I know that about me already. Everything I've used in room scale in the Vive has been no problem - until now. So, the UpChuck Factor (Oculus has a Comfort Factor) is pretty high on these for me. I stopped using it about an hour ago and still feel wonky. My girlfriend is less susceptible and she had a bit of discomfort after about 15 minutes on the Pegasus. I think this will vary for people and the designers seem to be trying to keep the games from being totally barf inducing on their own (Hint: For extra chunky vomit try dipping your head into the coy pond so you're inverted - or going backwards at high speed in a tank). I'm not sure if I'm getting 90FPS which is kinda required if you are like me and aren't inclined to reenact any Linda Blair performances (That's why I have dual 1080s, they're cheaper than new carpeting). So, in short, it'll make you woozy after a while if you're that sort of human. On the other hand, it's not all that bad. It's not like real seasickness or anything, and I think a few of the games probably wouldn't be much of an issue if you don't go too intensely into dives or turns.
Other bodily functions (Ewww):
So, if you have the cardiovascular condition of a tub of margarine (read: me) or perhaps you haven't been able to see your feet since the 5th grade, then you might huff and puff a bit whirling away on this thing. Especially being distracted by not get blasted out of the sky by a rocket or chasing that damn dog who passed you driving his Formula 1 car. This will lead to panting and sweating (trust me, it will). This gets kinda steamy, for the Vive anyway and the sweat isn't exactly prevented from rolling into your eyes or the lenses. It's not a show stopper, but it's been a minor inconvenience. I might try a sweat band (the Vive has a foam pad that is removable) Also, if you're rolling hard and moving around make sure the headset is on well, it could shift around more than you'd expect even though you are seated.
The Part Impatient People Skipped To:
If you absolutely hate motion rides it's gonna be barf-o-rama, if you're a strong RL rider it'll be a bit of posture transition and may not get you what a good spinning class would, if you're much bigger than average it may not be super comfortable/durable. For the rest of the pack, if you have the VR setup already and you were already considering buying a bike or treadmill, this is a real alternative with potential to be very cool. In month 3 we'll see if I'm hanging dirty laundry off it (that's really an indictment on my fitness commitment, not the VirZoom).
To VirZoom, maybe there's a trainer version of this for folks who like their real frame/setup. Winters around here can be long for the riders who still want to be able to circulate blood when spring arrives and that basement wall isn't getting any prettier.
This feels like it was the missing piece in my weekly exercise routine! I try to work out at least four times a week, but it can be hard to stick to it when exercising is a repetitive affair. I use a treadmill and a DDR mat as alternative exercises, but adding VR put a whole new spin on the exercise experience to help keep things fresh. 30 minutes to an hour passes in no time when using this bike!
After putting everything together, playing with it was as simple as plugging in the USB dongle, booting up the VirZoom Arcade, turning on the bike and pedaling. My favorite games in the VirZoom Arcade are the tank driving games and the lake paddleboat; other games include a western bandit chase, a race car, a pegasus ride, and a helicopter flight simulation (the most technical of all the games offered); most of the games have multiple variations of goals. I like how there is in-game read-outs of session time and tension levels (be sure to do the in-game calibration of the tension levels), so you can keep the PSVR on while tracking progress. Turning is registered by leaning left and right on the bike, and it feels pretty natural. None of the VirZoom Arcade games currently make use of the face buttons, only the handlebar triggers, so I don't know how those perform; using the handlebar triggers works well with the grip and pedaling. Supposedly the development team has plans to add more games to the VirZoom Arcade, so maybe those face buttons will eventually see some use. I'm around 6'1", and riding the bike is comfortable to me.
My only complaint with this bike would be how the account system works for saving progress and statistics with the VirZoom Arcade, and the online multiplayer. To remember settings or statistics, an account needs to be registered through their site, which also enables the online play. While I've never had any issues with the games when playing solo, people joining/leaving game sessions has caused several glitches in games for me, such as AI bikers on the bike trail flickering and remaining permanently in the distance, or the camera suddenly drifting around for a few seconds when someone joins in playing the tank games. I also like to aim for personal high scores against AI targets, so some kind of option to turn off the online play when using a registered account would be very much appreciated. I will, however, give the VirZoom team kudos for having PC cross-play options with PS4 users, and not locking the online play behind the Playstation Plus subscription.