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|PIONEER PARTNERSHIP BRINGS VIRTUAL REALITY TO GYMS, OPENING NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR vSPORTS AND IMMERSIVE FITNESS|
Rosemont, Ill., Nov. 13, 2017 – Life Fitness, the global leader in commercial fitness equipment, and VirZOOM, a developer of virtual reality (VR) content and vSports technology, have partnered to provide an immersive workout integrated with commercial cardio equipment and VR. An industry first, the partnership enables VR workouts accessible across a vast network of commercial equipment on gym floors worldwide.
VirZOOM transforms Lifecycle Upright and Recumbent stationary bikes with Discover SE3 or SE3 HD consoles into a motivating and immersive VR workout. The VirZOOM solution provides access to exciting VirZOOM VR content; exercisers can now race on horseback in the Wild West, blow up enemy tanks on far-away battlefronts, or fly through the air in a fantasy world as Pegasus—all while burning calories. The VirZOOM solution, installed via the VirZOOM Module, plugs into an existing and easily accessible port on the Lifecycle stationary bike and tracks actual pedal speed, translating it proportionately into virtual motion. Existing resistance buttons on the handlebars are repurposed as gameplay controls when the VirZOOM solution is in play.
"There are more than 2 million workouts on Life Fitness cardio equipment every day and we're always innovating to make more immersive, engaging and enjoyable workouts on our equipment," said Jason Worthy, vice president of digital solutions and innovation at Life Fitness. "Whether you're competitive or simply want to challenge yourself with a new workout, VirZOOM virtual reality is an exciting new way to connect people to fitness."
VirZOOM is an all-in-one, fully integrated VR solution for fitness facilities. The offering includes the VirZOOM Module, access to VirZOOM content and a virtual reality system, offering both a mobile VR headset from Samsung or a PC tethered VR option of Windows Mixed Reality provided by Acer. Customers also receive sweatproof VR headset covers that are changed between users and machine-washed daily, similar to how towels are cleaned in gyms. VirZOOM offers frequent software updates so users can experience new VR environments, fresh games and advanced competition modes.
"The industry-first partnership with Life Fitness expands the world of virtual reality into commercial health clubs," said Spencer Honeyman, vice president of strategic partnerships at VirZOOM. "VirZOOM motivates exercisers with fun and immersive virtual reality exercise content. Exercisers can not only set calorie goals and track workout stats, but also compete online against friends around the world and enjoy a VR workout. As the leader in commercial fitness equipment and exercise solutions, Life Fitness is the ideal partner for VirZOOM to bring VR workouts to commercial facilities."
A pilot Life Fitness and VirZOOM partnership was first announced at CES® 2017 in Las Vegas. The collaboration resulted in a pilot with gyms around the globe that was met with enthusiasm and excitement. According to a validation study conducted earlier in 2017, users spent an average of 38 minutes on VirZOOM, and worked out more than three days per week. Since the pilot program, several customers have already purchased and permanently installed VirZOOM, including YMCA branches in the U.S. and Australia in addition to Pure Fitness in Asia, with many more customers expected to adopt VirZOOM technology in the coming months.
"We're excited to be among the first to offer VirZOOM to our Y members, and we're especially enthusiastic that VirZOOM content is designed for the whole family," said Nathan Maehren, senior vice president of digital for the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. "We're always looking for new ways to help our members stay engaged, active and healthy. With VR applications like this, our members can achieve all three, and some even forget that they are working out!"
The Life Fitness and VirZOOM partnership now opens the potential for vSports competitions at a global scale. Soon, VirZOOM will host VR competitions for prizes at gyms around the world with VR industry leaders sponsoring the events.
"Gyms are changing as we know it, and our customers are more connected than ever," Worthy adds. "We're creating personalized and fun experiences in fitness facilities, and VirZOOM is an excellent partner in making the gym of the future a reality."
The VirZOOM solution is now available in the U.S. and in select international locations. Visit www.lifefitness.com/virzoom for more information.
About Life Fitness
Life Fitness is the global leader in commercial fitness equipment and billiards game tables and furnishings. The company manufactures and sells its strength and cardiovascular equipment and game tables and accessories under the brand names Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Indoor Cycling Group, SCIFIT and Brunswick Billiards. Its equipment is distributed to more than 166 countries. Headquartered outside Chicago, in Rosemont, Ill., Life Fitness is a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC).
VirZOOM is a virtual reality fitness platform designed to motivate users to move through fun, interactive VR workouts. Headquartered in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, VirZOOM was founded in 2015 by Eric Janszen, an avid cyclist with 25 years of experience in the technology sector, and Eric Malafeew, former Chief Architect at Harmonix Music Systems on titles Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Dance Central. Learn more at www.VirZOOM.com.
About the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities
The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 161 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 29 Y locations and program sites, seven overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 350,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y's mission and work, visit www.ymcamn.org.