There are two phrases which will get almost any gamer excited, ‘GTA V’ and ‘virtual reality’. When combining those two ideas, the excitement usually boils over, and when adding in other mechanisms, like say your own bicycle into the equation, a gaming extravaganza is born.
This is just what a group of students have done, not in an effort to advance VR gaming per se, but as a way to turn the tedious task of exercising into an affordable and fun undertaking. In comes the Cycler’s Hub, a device which allows nearly any bicycle to be utilized as a stationary controller for interactive virtual reality gaming.
“We’re in an engineering competition right now and are in the quarterfinals,” explained one of the Cycler’s Hub creators, and member of the Virtual Nomads, Nito Lugo.
Lugo, along with his classmates, have worked diligently on the Cycler’s Hub and are currently hoping to garner attention and win first place at the competition. While the initial video of the device, which you can see at the bottom of this article, may already have you excited, especially the promise of riding your own bike in a GTA V virtual environment, the team hopes to eventually expand upon what the device offers, as Lugo explained recently on Reddit.
“The system essentially turns your bike into a game controller, so theoretically it should work with any game. Though, if we pursue the idea after the competition finishes, we want to develop a standalone game, where we’d have a lot of different landscapes to choose between… And in fact, it’s our plan to implement environmental feedback! Things like rumble from terrains, increased incline, and other features are things we hope to include in the future.”
Besides just riding around in a virtual world, the Cycler’s Hub will allow one to compete with their friends, speed up or slow down the movement of the virtual environment around them, and best of all the device shouldn’t break the bank as long as you have your own bicycle lying around. While we don’t know if the team behind the Cycler’s Hub will eventually bring this device to market, we certainly hope that they are able to obtain the financing and interest required in order to be able to do so sooner rather than later. This could be a whole new way to view exercising, and could certainly garner the attention of fitness clubs across the planet.
What are your thoughts on this innovative approach to gaming and exercise? Let us know in the Cycler’s Hub forum on VRTalk.com.