New Horizons: A VR Platform to make exercise fun again


Medical experts, physiotherapists and many other health professionals have guided us to build a unique virtual reality platform called New Horizons. This platform is designed to promote exercise for people with limited mobility and/or chronic conditions in an engaging and immersive way, whilst stimulating cognitive processes. So, exercise for muscles and brain, simultaneously!

New Horizons is offered turn key to clinics, elderly residences and health institutes who want to embark on this state-of-the-art approach for promoting health. The platform is designed such that it requires minimal hands-on support and allows clients to exercise independently. Only those clients that you have selected and provided a New Horizons ID can freely access the system, by a simple swipe of the ID card.

So, then how do we motivate your clients in virtual reality to have fun and go the extra mile, especially the not-so-fit?

 

 

Built for motivation

 

Incorporating gaming elements in exercise helps motivation. Likewise, the feeling of being out in nature is appreciated by most, especially when it feels truly immersive. This together with intelligent and interactive design features, our VR solution combines all ingredients required to boost motivation for physical and cognitive activation, whilst your client takes a simple discovering through new horizons in our 1.000.000 m2 landscape.To help engagement, client vitality is rewarded by points for each 100m they progress. Longer trails with new surprises open up with increasing vitality points. As extra cognitive challenge, clients can search for and collect healthy fruits and vegetables. Good for functional training of the executive brain functions!

And no worries: our solution works with TV, projector or virtual reality headset. So we can fully accommodate those that prefer not to use the virtual reality headset. Even when your client starts in virtual reality, he can simply put off the headset and the exercise will continue on the TV screen!

 

Discover villages covered in snow

Cycle through canyons and deserts

Discover exotic new horizons

Discover community dwellers while rowing along a river

Let your client discover new horizons

 

We designed New Horizons from scratch and have made a collection of animated 3D worlds inspired by nature from all around the globe. Whilst many people with limited mobility cannot go out to enjoy nature, we bring nature back to them! Being truly immersed in more than 1.000.000 m2 of mountain landscape with many little villages, hundreds of animals, thousands of flowers and trees, your clients will feel like they are… outside!

Intelligent
Since we want to offer exercise suitable for a broad range of people, a smart fox is your virtual coach and companion, and will adjust speed settings to your clients capabilities. And when really too tired, your client will be offered to cruise the landscape or water with a self-driving Vespa or motorboat!

From ergonomic point of view, the bike and rowing boat mechanism will adjust automatically to your arm length and motion profile. So no need to change settings, the smart fox will take care of it.

For variation in exercise, the fox will ask you regularly what you prefer to train (arms or legs) and will offer you to choose from a range of trails with different distances, depending on your exercise results.

Interactive
Biking, hand-biking, rowing: it is all possible and the client can decide without pressing any button! We track motion with high-end controllers from Oculus. And we measure your pedaling speed using a sensor that can be connected to any existing bike or fitness device. Optionally, we offer a quiet and ergonomic elliptical bicycle with smooth, low impact pedal movement.

Sense of freedom is crucial. Especially for people with limited mobility, we want to give back this sense of freedom. Therefore your clients can decide where to go, and choose the scenery and trail they prefer most.

Interactivity also means you are invited to do things in these magic worlds. For example, your clients are challenged to search for fruit and other items whilst they are biking. And no need to push any button, by looking at it, the fox will collect it for you!

Immersive
Here is where the big difference is with many other solutions, as New Horizons really takes your clients somewhere else. Our worlds are fully immersive: you can look 360 degrees around and interact in a vivid, stereoscopic landscape using a professional Oculus headset.

In contrast to video solutions, our world really is alive. Animals will come to you if you stand still, curious as they are. And if you wave to community dwellers, don’t be surprised if some wave back at you!

Also audio is crucial for great immersion. Therefore we have enhanced our experiences with hundreds of 3D sound effects, so you can hear the birds and crickets, enjoy the music while you see people dancing in villages or simply relax with the sound of rivers and waterfalls.

Intuitive
We realize that many people are not yet as familiar with technology as some teenagers. So we made it possible to interact in these virtual worlds without even pressing a single button or key! We use ‘gaze interaction’: by turning your head and looking to certain objects, you can create your own journey.

To make it easy for your clients to enjoy all trails in various sessions, you can provide them with their personal New Horizons ID Card, which is used to keep track of the collected items and trails discovered. The New Horizons ID Card also is an excellent way for you to control who may use this VR system in your institute. Using the card reader, there is no need to type a name or create an account: once your client has received a New Horizons ID Card, he is only one swipe away from getting started!

Cycling and discover new horizons. In VR or... using a simple TV setup!

Use your existing equipment to create an immersive exercise experience!

Making physical exercise fun whilst providing cognitive stimulation!

Discover new places whilst collecting vitality points!

Use hand motion controllers for hand pedaling or rowing!

Train arms and legs

 

Enabling fun exercise in virtual reality requires the use of controllers. This way, the computer knows what your arms or legs are doing! For tracking motion of hands and arms, we use the high end VR controllers that are included in for example the Oculus Rift platform. Also we offer a smart floorbike, which makes it possible to bike in any VR world that we create!

We realize, however, that there are already many very good floorbikes available in most places where people work on their fitness and health. Especially for this reason, we make it possible to equip any floorbike with a little sensor. This sensor will track your motion and use this in the virtual world. So… you don’t need to invest in new fitness equipment. Use your favourite floorbike whilst enjoying an intelligent, interactive and immersive experience from HumanXR. Best of both worlds!

In order to make New Horizons as easy as possible for everybody, you can switch any time between virtual reality and TV. So also those that are not yet used to VR can get started right away!

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The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Distraction for Reducing Pain: A Meta-Analysis by Melissa P. Kenney and Leonard S. Milling University of Hartford. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 2016 American Psychological Association 2016, Vol. 3, No. 3, 199–210

Interactivity Influences the Magnitude of Virtual Reality Analgesia. Wender et al. 2009. Journal of Cyber Therapy and Rehabilitation react-text: 52 2(1):27-33