Virtual reality and fitness merge in 'The Trip'
If you've zoned out of Zumba and crossed off CrossFit, there's now a new fitness fad you might be tempted to try.
It's being touted as the gamification of exercise, and it's a bit like going to the movies on a bike.
The Trip is a 35-minute journey through a weird and wonderful landscape on a 270-degree virtual reality screen. It's like a movie theatre with bikes instead of seats. It's the new spin on a spin class – exploring the outdoors, indoors at Les Mills.
It's the brainchild of Les Mills Jr - the grandson of the chain's founder.
"I'm not throwing away outdoor activity in any way," he says. "I think it's always cool to go for a run and do stuff in the grass. This is really just advancing the indoor space and playing with technology and doing some cool stuff."
The visuals have been designed in New Zealand and match the rhythm of the music. But beware if you suffer from motion sickness.
Les Mills says it could be good for people put off by traditional exercise.
"It's too hard. I can't do it," says Les Mills immersive product manager Chris Richardson. "But you bring people into a studio like this, you jump them on a bike; everyone knows how to a ride a bike and they ride to these fantastic visuals, and before they know it they've got a sweat; they've got a work-out on."
Combining virtual reality and fitness is becoming popular globally. Widerun, developed by an Italian tech firm, uses Occulus Rift headsets with a bike.
It's new tech that's perhaps good for the waistline, and the fitness industry's bottom line