Icaros bets on making exercise fun with virtual reality. If you're not familiar with Icaros, it's a company that was founded just a couple of years ago and has recently launched an exercise machine that lets users experience surreal activities in virtual reality while getting in a core workout. Using the machine, one would be able to slip on a VR headset like the Gear VR while laying on the machine and grabbing onto a set of handles that when manipulated would mimic the motions of flying or diving, and its these movements that work your body. The fun part comes from the virtual reality aspect of the machine, which drops users into the scenarios as if they're actually flying or diving.
Right now Icaros machines are only available in a series of different gyms and entertainment centers and they cost about $10,000, so they're not exactly an economical purchase that most consumers are able to get their hands on. That being said, it's reported that Icaros is working on a home version that would cost much less at $2,000, though even with an $8,000 decrease the price would still be high. However, $2,000 is also in the realm of many home fitness machines so it's more likely to be well-received by anyone looking to get in shape inside the home when they can.
The new home machine is reportedly in development currently and could see an announcement in the beginning of 2018, though no exact time frames were mentioned at this time. Johannes Scholl, who is a co-founder of Icaros, believes that VR has the capability to keep people engaged with fitness more often and bring excitement to the activity for some where it might otherwise not be there. While it might not draw in the crowd of consumers who is already highly motivated to exercise normally, it could certainly grab the attention of those who have a particular passion for technology and video games, especially virtual reality-based games. Of course part of the success of Icaros' vision would have to also depend a little bit on the success of virtual reality in the mainstream, and at the moment VR has had kind of a slow start with the majority of consumers, though it does seem to be picking up across various industries which is helping to spark more interest.