Bike Your Way to Virtual Reality with this Kickstarter Project
Do you love to get fit and bike the outdoors, but have no gear or time to do so? With a Kickstarter project aimed at bringing virtual reality to biking, you can bike your way on a cross-country cycling trip without leaving your own place.
Widerun, a fitness tech startup made up of VR and bike enthusiasts, is putting their project on crowdfunding site Kickstarter to get a good headstart with funding. The goal of their project is to integrate virtual reality technology into biking, giving people the opportunity to experience biking in scenic locations without actually being there. The Kickstarter project, entitled “Widerun – The first full immersive VR biking experience”, will work by connecting a compatible VR headset, such as the Oculus Rift and the Samsung Gear VR, to a bike trainer specifically designed to recreate the real biking experience in a stationary fashion.
Along with the offered scenic locations to “bike” on, there are also games that will test the fitness of its user to the limit. Widerun designed three prototypes of their bike trainers, connecting seamlessly with any supported VR headset. The first prototype is a standard bike trainer featuring mechanical resistance to simulate uphill biking conditions. Another prototype is a prebuilt professional bike trainer that is hacked with software tweaks. The third prototype is a standard bike trainer featuring a steering component to aid in the steering aspect of the biking experience, as well as having the mechanical features to give the feeling of resistance and inertia.
Widerun said that any existing bike is compatible with their technology; by installing the bike trainer on the bike’s rear wheel, any bike can be turned into a working unit. As their project website states, the trainer can accommodate any bike with a wheel radius ranging from 26 to 29 inches, all without any adjustments made to the bike trainer.
Widerun’s initial compatibility will be optimized for both the Oculus Rift Development Kits 1 and 2, and the Samsung Gear VR, as well as certain smartphones that are able to be transformed into a VR display using a compatible third-party head-mounted display (HMD) like Google Cardboard. In the near future, they are planning to build support for a wider range of upcoming virtual reality headsets, such as the Project Morpheus by Sony.
Widerun’s bike trainer connects to any compatible VR headset using Bluetooth low-energy, without the need for additional drivers. An embedded microchip is contained within the bike trainer, collecting vital information such as acceleration, ground resistance, speed, and degree of the steering – all in real time. These data are then being sent wirelessly to the VR headset.
If successfully funded, the Widerun bike trainer is expected to enter production later in November, and will be shipped to its backers by January 2016.
For more information on Widerun, please visit the following websites: