This Thor AR Fitness Game is Powered by Snap Spectacles Glasses
What started as a joke has turned into a proof of concept that could shake up the XR fitness industry.
Fitness VR is going through hard times right now. Physically active games such as Supernatural, Audio Trip, Beat Saber and Space Pirate Arena offer effective cardio exercises designed to lift you off the couch, whether it’s cutting colorful cubes to an energetic soundtrack, or physical running on a virtual battlefield.
However, there is one type of training in which developers have hardly managed to implement VR and AR-this is weightlifting.
However, recently, the developer Six Liv, posted a video on his Twitter showing him in ARHouseLA, where he can be seen interacting with unique AR-glasses for weightlifting, which work on the basis of Spectacles 3, the latest Snapchat glasses with AR support.
In a tweet, Six Liv said, “AR will change fitness and sports more than any technology in history,” adding, “Using weights will never be boring again!”.
In the eight-second video, you can see Liv pumping iron in the thunder god Thor costume. Using the capabilities of AR technology, Spectacles 3 glasses project a digital hammer onto a real dumbbell, giving the impression that Liv wielded a mighty hammer of Thor – Mjolnir.
With each successful repetition, Liv charges the legendary weapon with powerful energy. As soon as the charge reaches its maximum, he will throw his hammer forward and release a terrifying lightning bolt into the air. If used correctly, such AR technology can become revolutionary in the world of fitness.
During an interview with VRScout, Liv spoke about the origin of his AR fitness Thor: “It started as a joke. I was working on the filter together with Arthur Buffard, who also worked at ARHouse, and we wondered what a superhero training using AR would look like and if we could do it?”.
After experimenting with several potential superhero concepts, including the X-Men Cyclops experience, which involved physically running a finger over Spectacles 3 glasses to activate mutant power, the couple settled on Marvel’s Thor, primarily because of the potential fitness aspect.
To bring the Thor AR fitness project to life, Liv and Buffar took advantage of Spectacles’ hand-tracking capabilities to put Thor’s hammer on a real dumbbell.
According to Liv, the development process was far from simple. “We started by trying to do twists, but because of the occlusion, the weights didn’t always see my hands. If you look closely at the video, you will see that I throw a kettlebell very symmetrically so that the cameras on the glasses can see the crests of my hands,” Liv explained.
As soon as they developed the concept and put all the pieces together, Liv and Buffar turned to Pratik Suket, another developer working at ARHouse at the time, to help polish the experience.
Despite the fact that the Thor AR fitness filter may have started as a joke, it opens up a lot of potential for the future of fitness, which Liv is very passionate about.
Liv, who is CEO and co-founder of VR fitness app YUR and CEO and co-founder of mixed reality app LIV, has spent the last few years trying to figure out how to incorporate resistance or gravity into the XR experience. “We’ve seen a lot of AR and VR fitness apps that gave you decent cardio, but you won’t get the big biceps or muscles that most people associate with workouts,” he explained.
According to Liv, his goal is to take existing exercises and make them interesting, fun and more exciting. For example, instead of a bench press on a crossbar with weights, why not do a bench press on a car or lift a giant mechanical squirrel over your head? It may sound ridiculous, but half of the appeal of VR is to do the impossible.
Fitness trainer Jake Robinson, who has used VR apps like Beat Saber in the past, agrees with this: “If this approach can motivate you to push yourself and train more, then why not!”.
From Liv’s point of view, XP sports and fitness have a future that we are just beginning to explore. And he is not alone in these thoughts. Every day there are new VR and AR fitness apps. “The goal is to quantify, gamify and repurpose existing equipment into something more interesting,” Liv added. “These things together will create the biggest thing in fitness since headphones.”
Unfortunately, the Thor AR fitness filter is a prototype for Snap’s Spectacles 3 glasses and is not available for download. However, we would like to see an official release sometime in the future; perhaps when/if Snap releases Spectacles 3 on sale.