The opinions shared in the GymNation blog articles are solely those of the respective authors and may not represent the perspectives of GymNation or any member of the GymNation team.
Zuckerberg presents Les Mills’ new Bodycombat XR with Mixed Reality for Meta Quest 3
SIGN UP FOR YOUR FREE DAY PASS TODAY!
Les Mills is jumping into Mixed Reality with the launch of the Bodycombat XR workout, designed by programme directors, Rachael Newsham and Dan Cohen, for the new Quest 3 headset from Meta.
The launch of the new app follows on from the success of Bodycombat VR, which hit the market in February 2022, by harnessing the latest features of the Quest 3 to provide a Mixed-Reality (MR) fitness mode.
Working with gaming specialist studio, OddersLab, Newsham and Cohen have incorporated MR features into each of the 25 Bodycombat XR workout, enabling players to have a more extensive range of motion without worrying about their surroundings.
The MR feature allows fitness enthusiasts to combine real-life environment with their virtual training spaces by tapping their Quest 3 to move between VR and MR – the first time this has been possible in a mainstream headset.
Using two built-in colour cameras, the MR feature allows the user to see the physical room around them, so they can easily map their safe area.
🔍 Read More: Ready to elevate your fitness journey? Dive deeper with our top-notch BMI Calculator, BMR Calculator, TDEE Calculator, and Body Fat Calculator. Uncover the science behind your health!
They can then choose between remaining in physical reality and overlaying digital objects or jumping into a fully immersive VR environment.
The new game’s training sessions range from basic to advanced and are hosted in a range of environments, including intergalactic deserts, ancient Rome and evening in a Tokyo-inspired neo city.
Players earn points for effort and technique, with Newsham and Cohen providing coaching cues and motivation.
At the recent Meta Connect showcase event in the US, founder, Mark Zuckerberg, spotlighted the Les Mills launch, saying: “People love working out in Quest, but now, if you’re doing the Bodycombat XR workout, the targets are going to come at you in your physical location – you’ll be able to see the room around you, so you’ll be a lot more comfortable moving your body.”
Zuckerberg also highlighted Meta’s continued desire to work towards greater accessibility, a priority mirrored by Newsham and Cohen, who said: “Our mission at Les Mills is to create a fitter planet and we hope the launch of the Bodycombat XR app enables us to continue to reach new audiences and break down barriers to exercise, helping more people to start their fitness journey and reap the rewards of an active lifestyle.”
Independent research commissioned by Les Mills has shown that Gen Z has the greatest potential to engage with exercise and the move into VR and MR is part of the company’s commitment to targeting this cohort and bringing them into the sector to grow the market.
Les Mills is also updating its group exercise workouts, with a raft of new in-gym options for operators, such as Les Mills Strength Development and Les Mills Shapes, which have been designed with Gen Z in mind.
This all comes alongside an exciting month so far for the company, which was named one of 2023’s ‘Brands That Matter’ by business and innovation media title, Fast Company.
As early innovators in the VR fitness space, Les Mills impressed the panel of judges by breaking down barriers to exercise.
The Meta Quest Move app
Meta has further extended its engagement with physical activity with the launch of the Meta Quest Move app, which enables players to set goals and keep track of how long they’ve been active and “how many calories they’ve burned”, although with health and fitness professionals flagging up the dangers of linking calorie burn with exercise and the harm this can do to the mental health of vulnerable people, the jury is out on whether this feature will endure in its current form.