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Using an exercise bike is a great way of burning off some calories, but toiling away on one, either at home or the gym, can get boring. For those who aren’t fans of cycling outside, one video game developer has come up with an ingenious VR-based solution.
Australian Aaron Puzey, who lives in Scotland, got bored of his exercise bike. His solution involved using virtual reality as a way of making things more interesting. "I'd been daydreaming for a while about the possibility of using VR to make it a bit more fun," Puzey told The Verge. "And now of course the technology has arrived to make it happen."
Puzey developed a bespoke app for the Samsung Galaxy VR that uses Google Street View images, stitches them together and makes them viewable in the headset. Puzey admits that it doesn’t exactly produce a smooth experience, but it’s still an impressive feat. "As you’ll see it has some… problems. But it’s still better than anything else out there," he wrote in his blog.
A Bluetooth-enabled cadence sensor measures the bike’s RPM. The data is sent to the app as instructions to warp and switch Google's panoramas depending on how fast Puzey is pedaling, giving the impression he is moving through the real locations.
Puzey is currently on a mission to cycle (virtually) across all 837 miles of the UK. He started his journey back in May, and is currently around the halfway point. “I want to become the first person to cycle through Britain in virtual reality. I really, really do. In fact I might be the first person to cycle any great distance in VR,” he said.