The CES consumer annual electronic show took place in Las Vegas this week and BlackBox VR was selected as the best startup in this year’s edition of the competition. The award was handed to the startup by the gadget and consumer-tech blog network, Engadget.
BlackBox VR is an Idaho based company which is developing a virtual fitness gym with the aim to make gym exercise more enjoyable and addictive. The startup’s solution involves the users entering a virtual arena, where they compete against an avatar or one another, essentially turning gym exercise into a video game.
It is particularly targeting those individuals who struggle to motivate themselves to go to the gym and could use the boost of the competitive edge to their workouts.
The startup has already managed to develop a full-body 30-minute virtual experience workout using a resistance training machine and a virtual-reality headset. The entire set-up is the size of a family bathroom.
“BlackBox VR is building the gym of the future, using the HTC Vive [a virtual-reality headset], motion-tracking controllers and specially designed workout equipment, Black Box turns exercise into a video game” an Engadget reporter wrote.
BlackBox VR was founded by Preston Lewis and Ryan DeLuca, who is also the founder of Bodybuilding.com, an online retailer which specializes in dietary supplements, sports supplements and bodybuilding supplements.
“In BlackBox you utilize strength, agility, balance and speed in a larger-than-life virtual world where we are able to harness the nature that is brought out in video games — dedication, determination, and longevity — and turn it into real, physical workouts that challenge both mind and body” said co-founder Preston Lewis.
BlackBox VR’s long-term goal is to open boutique gyms all over the US. Each one will include its own “black box” which each member will enter to do their work-out. It will also serve to track their progress. The company still has a lot of work to do to develop their product and address safety concerns – nevertheless – the progress has been promising.