Home / Tech News / Runtastic embraces virtual reality with a new fitness app for Oculus Rift (Paul Sawers/VentureBeat)

Runtastic embraces virtual reality with a new fitness app for Oculus Rift (Paul Sawers/VentureBeat)

Runtastic has built a solid reputation in the digital fitness realm over the past few years, with its flagship GPS fitness tracking app racking up millions of downloads along the way. But the Austria-based startup has been making moves away from its core product into niche apps for building six-packs , working out at home , and even improving your sleep . Now, Runtastic is entering the virtual reality (VR) fray, as it experiments with a new app built for Oculus Rift. As the consumer-focused version of the now Facebook-owned VR headset nears launch, interest in the fledgling platform is starting to heat up. But Runtastic isn’t reimagining its GPS running app for Oculus Rift. Instead it’s worked up a new version of one of the latest fitness crazes. For the uninitiated, the 7-Minute Workout is basically a short, high-intensity session spread across a dozen exercises of 30 seconds each. Runtastic’s version on Oculus Rift, however, will include 3D avatars acting as personal trainers, and the workout is set against a hillside, beachside, or a “futuristic black hole.” More background environments will be added. The exact price of the VR headset has yet to be set, but it’s thought it will be in the $200 to $400 price range. So it comes in at the affordable end of the accessibility spectrum, but the whole point of the 7-minute workout is that it’s something you can do quickly on your own at home, for next to no money, and with no equipment. Kind of like a middle finger to expensive gym memberships. But Oculus Rift will serve many functions across the digital sphere, from gaming to tourist information, and given its affordability it seems only natural that it will find even more use cases in fitness. Indeed, Runtastic CEO Florian Gschwandtner already has plans to extend his platform’s VR functionality. “We’re already working to integrate additional activity types and have found there is really no limit,” he says. “In 2015, we could see Runtastic and Oculus engaging gym fans, runners, bikers and more.” Runtastic will be showing off the app at CES 2015, and for everyone else you can watch this official demo video below now

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Runtastic embraces virtual reality with a new fitness app for Oculus Rift (Paul Sawers/VentureBeat)

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