Metaverse sets off “fitness fever”

If you had the opportunity to experience “Second Life” in a virtual world, what would you most like to do?

For hundreds of years, people’s imagination of the future life seems to never stop. We always look forward to truly stepping into a virtual world and experiencing a different kind of life.

But now, it may not have to wait that long.

In 2021, the concept of the Metaverse is popular all over the world. And VR, which is regarded as the key to opening the door to the Metaverse, is gaining capital, technology, and attention from various industries. Since May 2021, domestic local VR manufacturers have launched new products one after another, and the pace of iteration has accelerated significantly. The C-end of the VR all-in-one machine market accounted for 46.1%. IDC data shows that in the domestic VR online e-commerce channel shipments in 2021, iQIYI’s Qiyu VR and ByteDance’s Pico have accounted for more than half of the shares.

Today, in the virtual world of millions of players, they can not only play games, watch movies, and make friends, but also play baseball, practice calligraphy, watch art exhibitions, appreciate famous works, and engage in artistic creation. Before you know it, VR starts to have more connections with people’s lives.

“Get Moving” in the Metaverse

After 95, Xiaojie’s WeChat profile picture is “don’t lose 20 pounds, don’t change your profile picture”.

Dare to openly “plant the flag” on social platforms, it can be seen that Xiaojie has a strong desire to lose weight.However, after being dragged into the gym a few times, she couldn’t hold on.

Unexpectedly, only two months later, she is only 10 pounds away from her goal of changing her avatar.

It was not a treadmill, an elliptical machine, or a weight loss community that made her lose her fat, but a VR all-in-one machine.

Recently, another Xiaojie crazy “top” is an “all-in-one sports” game in Qiyu VR. This is a popular sports game in the VR circle recently, providing up to 10 popular sports such as archery, boxing, badminton, table tennis, and basketball. The biggest feature of the game is that it can restore the sports experience in an ultra-realistic manner.

Metaverse sets off "fitness fever"

“I have underdeveloped sports cells. I used to play badminton and table tennis, and I always picked up the ball. Since I started playing with VR, I no longer have to pick up the ball.” Xiaojie said.

After Xiaojie brought Qiyu 3 into the badminton hall, she was greeted by the surrounding stands, the green professional competition ground, the large score screen, and even looked up to see the weather outside the glass window, which was exactly the same as the actual stadium.

Metaverse sets off "fitness fever"

Xiaojie shared with us that although it is in the virtual world of VR, as long as you hold the handle, the machine can judge the swing strength, the speed of the ball, and the angle of the cut, and accurately feedback the flight path of the badminton, even if the moment of picking the ball comes from the wrist It’s incredible that even a slight jitter of the camera can be accurately identified.

“Holding the handle, throwing the shuttlecock with the left hand, gently picking it up with the right hand, and seeing the shuttlecock draw an arc and cross the net to smash the opponent vigorously, the feeling of fighting is not so much fun.” She still remembers it now, The first time she played badminton in VR, she played for a full hour and was soaked with sweat.

The change of interest will eventually bring about a change of attitude. In Xiaojie’s view, she used to feel that exercise was forced, but now exercise is active and has become a habit. “

Xiaojie is not the first VR player who turns gaming into fitness training, and certainly not the last. Opening up major social platforms, more and more young people are starting to post VR sports related content. Taking Xiaohongshu as an example, topics such as playing ball in VR, practicing boxing, and sports game recommendations have reached tens of millions of views.

Metaverse sets off "fitness fever"

In fact, as the domestic VR all-in-one machine enters the consumer-level era, and the industry’s “hardware + software” ecology continues to mature. Wearable devices represented by VR are no longer the world of niche game enthusiasts, and are beginning to enter the lives of more ordinary people. According to the latest data disclosed by IDC, global AR/VR headset shipments will reach 11.23 million units in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 92.1%. Among them, VR headset shipments reached 10.95 million units.

Metaverse sets off "fitness fever"

Fitness, gaming or sports in VR?

As a person who has no previous fitness habits, Xiao Jie has tried all rope skipping, yoga, and aerobics. She also analyzed the reasons for not persevering: practicing by herself, unable to grasp the movement, easy to get injured and easy to lose to inertia; going to the gym, aside from the personal teaching fee of several hundred yuan per session, in the gym In such public occasions, she also felt serious “body anxiety” with an ordinary figure.

“The gym is full of handsome guys and beauties with proud bodies. Why should I wear tights to humiliate myself?” Obviously, the gym is not immune to the ubiquity of introversion.

Refer to the data disclosed in the prospectus of the well-known sports app keep: the average number of monthly active users in the third quarter of 2021 is as high as 41.75 million. Although it seems like a lot, on the other side of this data, there are actually a large number of people who, like Xiao Jie, are trapped in the exhaustion and pain of fitness and cannot persist.

Fortunately, there is another way to open up about fitness.

As early as the 1990s, the Japanese company Konami launched the video game “Dance Revolution”, which is also known as the dance machine, which combined sports and games for the first time. Later, major console game platforms have launched sports video games. The most well-known is the Wii console launched by Nintendo in 2006.By waving two remote controls, one large and one small, people can play baseball, draw bows and arrows, etc. on the screen. This also allowed the Wii to sell more than 100 million units.

The latest fitness game to become popular again is “Ring Fitness Adventure” released in October 2019. Due to the popularity of the game, the fitness ring peripheral has even been out of stock for a long time in 2020. According to data provided by Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa in a shareholder Q&A, as of March 2021, “Ring Fitness Adventure” has sold 7.38 million worldwide, and the current total sales of the game are 10 million.

Metaverse sets off "fitness fever"

Entering 2021, the Metaverse company represented by Meta began to take over the baton and set off a new wave of fitness games. In 2021, Meta will acquire Within, the developer of the VR fitness game “Supernatural”, for over US$400 million; Nike will open the Metaverse game Nikeland on Roblox; domestic platforms represented by iQiyi’s Qiyu VR have successively launched “Music Future Music”. Plan”, “All-in-One Sports VR”, “Boxing Legend Manny VR” and many other fitness sports games. The enthusiasm of users can also be seen from the sales curve of VR equipment: IDC’s report shows that the sales of VR equipment in Q4 2021 will account for almost half of the total sales of the whole year.

Metaverse sets off "fitness fever"

The younger brother, who didn’t keep Xiaojie in the gym at the beginning, also felt the change, “Like my sister, dragging her to the gym at 8 or 9 o’clock in winter can’t get up at all, it is better to use the game method. Perseverance is the key. Xiaojie concluded by herself: “The threshold for VR fitness is low. I can easily do those movements. I don’t lift weights because I know that lifting weights is hard work, but playing VR is enjoyment and happiness. .”

“Mental load reduction” is becoming a key factor for non-hardcore bodybuilders to really start moving. With the headset and two handles, people can enter the realistic virtual scene to “play” instead of “practice”, which greatly reduces the psychological fear of the gym for people without fitness habits.

Compared with traditional dance machines, a significant advantage of VR fitness games is “entertainment + immersion”. Just like the “Music Future: Sound Project” that Xiaojie loves to play recently. This game can turn the melody of the song into a visual up, down, left, and right symbols and a “wall” with scattered heights. Crouching down and waiting to avoid obstacles, a process can consume four or five hundred calories.

Metaverse sets off "fitness fever"

“VR can change people’s fitness habits, sometimes even their health and quality of life.” In February this year, Meta spokesperson Johanna Peace also mentioned, “The rapid growth and popularity of VR fitness cases proves that VR is a Technology is evolving into what we predicted: the next computing platform, a multifunctional device that people will one day use in the same way they use their phones and laptops today.”

Behind the Breaking Circle of VR Sports: Metaverse Approaches Life

A few years ago, VR exercise and fitness was a rather niche concept. On the one hand, VR technology is still in the stage of development and improvement, and not many people know it. On the other hand, VR equipment is not only expensive, but also has a limited selection of product brands and models, which invisibly discourages those who were originally interested in trying it.

But now, the average price of 1,000 yuan of VR products occupies the majority, which is basically the same as that of smartphones. The iteration of products has also greatly improved the wearing comfort of VR products, making VR equipment acceptable to the public.

In addition, the low demand for space of VR equipment has also become the key to household popularization. Even for fitness exercises, the space required is not large. After setting basic parameters such as protective walls and ground, a maximum of 2m*2m of open space can be transformed into a wide sports field.

But the current VR is not only to meet the heavy needs of fitness. For example, when Xiaojie bought VR, in addition to sports, she also wanted to watch movies. This requires that the product itself not only needs to pass the hardware test, but also has a rich content reserve. And the Adventures 3 she purchased was just enough.

Metaverse sets off "fitness fever"

There is an iQUT future theater in Qiyu 3, which can provide a 3000-inch giant screen. Relying on iQIYI’s massive library of movies and dramas, Xiaojie can enjoy watching movies in the iMAX theater space, which is impossible to watch movies on mobile phones.

When VR has begun to subtly change the lives of a generation, we found that the “Metaverse” that was once very far away from ordinary people also has a clearer concrete outline: it is like the variable X in mathematical symbols, and it will be in any field. assigned the corresponding meaning. For example, for Xiaojie who is in fitness, VR is like a ticket to a new “fitness universe”. In this universe, they can feel the life changes brought about by sports as fitness people, and they can also exchange their experiences with others.

We have also seen that on the road of the Metaverse, domestic platforms represented by iQiyi are making more attempts, and immersive entertainment forms such as virtual concerts, VR interactive movies, and offline VR full-sensing movies are being born. I believe that in the near future, VR is not just a tool, and the Metaverse is not an empty concept. It will enter the lives of more people, giving people the opportunity to shuttle between dreams and reality at will, and start a second life.

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