|Requires||Oculus Rift CV1, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR|
|Positional Tracking||PlayStation Camera|
|Release Date||April 2016|
The VirZoom functions unlike any other virtual reality controller currently available. The main purpose is to make home exercise more appealing and fun. As such, it is built on a regular stationary exercise bike, which is enhanced with advanced electronic sensors and gaming controllers. The faster users pedal on the bike, the more speed they gain in the particular virtual environment.
When combined with a motion sensing camera like the Sony PlayStation Camera, users can steer simply by leaning their shoulders left and right. The handlebars also contain regular gamepad buttons and triggers, which allow users to perform more complicated actions.
The VirZoom is designed to work primarily with several first-party mini-games, which were developed in-house specifically for this controller. Stampede! is a horse-riding game set in the Wild West, where the player’s goal is to capture bandits using a lasso; Pegaso is a simple simulator of a flight through a canyon on a winged Pegasus; Go Fast Car is a track racing game.
All games last approximately 5 to 7 minutes. The length has been purposely adjusted to match modern interval training methods and provide users with maximum stimuli.
Online multiplayer, fitness tracking and scheduling are planned to be available for a small monthly subscription fee.
The VirZoom is compatible with all major virtual reality headsets such as Sony PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift CV1, and HTC Vive. The platform is designed to work with either PC or PS4 using a dedicated VirZoom USB Dongle.
First 300 VirZoom controllers are available for $199.95. The early access price includes the controller itself, unlimited access to all VirZoom games, and a lifetime VirZoom Plus membership.
The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $299.95. Shipping should begin in the first half of 2016.
The VirZoom controller was co-founded by Eric Janszen and Eric Malafeew in early 2015. The first business plans were charted in early 2014. Eric Malafeew subsequently proceeded to file patents for VirZoom’s unique design, and began working on first prototypes.
VirZOOM is more than 90% funded by Janszen’s iTulip investment group, and is custom-made for VirZOOM by a manufacturer in China, using a highly specialized folding exercise bike design. VZ Play games are developed by a dedicated development team in Cambridge, Massachusetts.