New Horizons: a Virtual Reality Exercise Platform for training body and mind
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 encourage exercise for people with limited mobility, chronic conditions or sedentary behavior. In New Horizons, people tend to forget limitations and pain, and this helps to keep going! In an engaging and immersive virtual world, your clients can cycle, row or choose a virtual handbike or pedalo to progress. And they are challenged to interact in this virtual world, which stimulates cognitive processes. So, exercise for body and mind, 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 keycard can access the system.
So, then how do we motivate your clients in virtual reality to go the extra mile, especially the not-so-fit?
Cycle to discover new horizons. In VR or... using just a TV setup!
Turn your existing floorbike into an immersive exercise experience!
Making physical exercise fun whilst providing cognitive stimulation!
Discover new places and find and collect objects!
Enjoy rowing or handbiking using motion controllers!
Built for motivation
Incorporating gaming elements in exercise helps engagement. Likewise, the feeling of being out in nature motivates, especially when it feels truly immersive. This together with the interactive design features, New Horizons combines all ingredients required to boost physical and cognitive activation, whilst your client simply discovers 1.000.000 m2 of wonderful worlds. 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 and get rewarded for special items. 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 all the time. Even when your client starts in virtual reality, he can simply put off the headset and the exercise will continue on TV!
Let your client discover new horizons
We designed New Horizons from scratch and have made a collection of animated and interactive 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 1.000.000 square meter of mountain landscapes with many little villages, friendly community dwellers, hundreds of animals, thousands of flowers and trees, your clients will feel like they are… outside. And might even forget some of their limitations and pain while biking, rowing, pedaling or handbiking.
A friendly fox ‘Charlie’ will show the way and coach your clients, and will adjust speed and ergonomics. To help cognitive stimulation during the exercise, Charlie will hide objects along the trail for your clients to discover and collect. So all users will be challenged to stay alert during the exercise and earn some extra vitality points.
And… for sure a surprise will be waiting at the end of each trail!
In contrast to video solutions, our world really is alive. Animals will come to your client, curious as they are. Snowflakes will fall down, and feel like they touch the skin. Community dwellers are working in the garden, singing around the campfire or even celebrating a party in their villages!
No surprise therefore that 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.
Since we want to offer exercise suitable for a broad range of people, our smart fox ‘Charlie’ acts as 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 arm length and motion profile. So no need to change settings, the vitual coach Charlie will take care of it.
For variation in exercise, Charlie will ask your clients regularly what they prefer to train (arms or legs) and will offer a range of trails with different distances, depending on the exercise results.
Biking, pedaling, hand-biking, rowing: it is all possible and the client can decide without using any button! We track motion with high-end controllers from Oculus Rift S. And we measure your pedaling speed using a sensor that can be connected to any existing bicycle trainer or fitness device. Optionally, we offer a quiet and ergonomic elliptical 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 your clients 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 pedaling. And no need to push any button, by looking or pointing at it, virtual coach ‘Charlie’ will collect it for you!
To make it easy for your clients to enjoy all trails in various sessions, you can provide them with their personal New Horizons keycard, which is used to keep track of the collected items and trails discovered. The New Horizons keycard 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 keycard, he is only one swipe away from getting started!
Floorbikes and controllers
Enabling fun exercise in virtual reality requires the use of controllers. This way, the computer knows what your arms or legs are doing! Your clients can choose to train legs or arms, or both. We also made it possible to train with one arms or one hand. 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.
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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