VIRZoom was in St. Louis, MO at a Digital Innovation Summit hosted by Nestle Purina this week, where I had the opportunity to take their VR stationary bike for a test drive, and WOW, was it awesome!
With an Oculus Rift strapped to my head, and in my case this day, also wearing a suit, I hopped on the VIRZoom stationary bike. Within about 15 seconds, I was able to figure out the intuitive controls; pedal to move forward, lean your body side to side to turn, and trigger buttons on the handle bars allow you to do things like fly, throw a lasso, or shoot missiles.
The games VIRZoom showcased at the event in St. Louis included chasing bandits on a horse and lassoing them, driving an Indy race car (you're a dog racing other dog drivers which was hilarious), piloting a helicopter while dodging missiles, and driving a tank. But I'm surprised to say the most exhilarating was Flying a Pegasus - and yes, that's a flying horse. This game allows you to pedal at varying rates, which moves the Pegasus faster or slower. Lean to the right and you run right, or even better, tap a trigger on the Pegasus's saddle (bike handle bars) and gently fly right over mountains and through valleys. The immersive game play was unlike anything else I've experienced, and the pedaling enhances it all through elevated heart rate and blood flow.
Ten minutes later of game play, I realized not only was this an awesome experience, I also just had a great workout without even realizing it. Kids everywhere will have a STRONG argument with the VIRZoom vs. their parents on why they should strap on a VR headset and play video games.
VIRZoom is impressive, it's pedals and controls work seamlessly with the Oculus Rift, and I can only hope they open up their platform to developers to create dozens, if not hundreds of games. If you get a chance to try this, do it. And, you can buy it now, for a surprisingly low price via pre-order here.