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Virtual Reality: the best headsets

In the world of sport and fitness, technology has now taken on a leading role. Thanks to technology, the goal now is to find more and more intense and engaging forms of entertainment, by taking new paths and arriving at innovative solutions. Virtual reality is one of them.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality (VR) is a three-dimensional computer programmed environment that can be explored, with which you can interact using VR devices - earphones, gloves, viewers - able to project the user who wears them in a scenario so realistic as to appear true.

History of virtual reality

The term "virtual reality" - coined in 1989 by the essayist and computer scientist Jaron Lanier, creator of the first virtual programming language - has taken on numerous forms. In the evolution of its meaning, the type of technology that allowed access to it changed as well. Technology is the exclusive element to make the space-time jump between the real and virtual dimension, conveying a series of changes: from self-knowledge to the type of vision, from the scenario to the environment in which you move.

Training with virtual reality: the headsets of the future

Virtual reality for training inevitably passes through the evolution of mobile devices. Over time, in fact, the smartphone has become a multifunctional and versatile tool, integrating ever-new features: from a mobile device to call and receive calls - as well as messaging - to a mobile device with a computing power close to that of a computer.
The smartphone is rightly included (also) among the best hi-tech products for sport and fitness. Hence the idea of using the display of the smartphone inside a viewer - VR viewers for smartphones - placing it a few inches from the eyes and splitting it into two distinct parts, simulating stereoscopy (the perception of depth of an object that is obtained as a result of binocular vision). Technicalities aside, compared to smart glasses that can be used without a phone, VR viewers for smartphones are characterized by built-in hardware and work only the smartphone (or iPhone) is placed inside their socket.

Sport and virtual reality, the best VR headsets

Virtual reality can be used in workouts, from the comfort of your home or office by simulating outdoor sessions, or stimulating training environments. The combination of virtual technology and training machines generates more stimulation and combines playful aspects. Using VR visors is now simple and there are many options available to those who want to experience something really innovative.
Samsung Gear VR
The Samsung Gear VR  is a virtual reality headsets designed by the South Korean giant. It requires the use of a compatible smartphone. It stimulates the muscles of the body, managing to improve both reflexes and balance of the user. The body’s movements determine the direction of the flight in the simulation.
Google Cardboard
Not only Samsung. Just think of Google Carboard, the virtual reality viewer produced by the company of Mountain View and made with a cardboard sheet (folded up on itself) with two biconvex plastic lenses and a space to accommodate the smartphone. In order to use the device, it is essential to download the Cardboard app from the Google Play Store. A nice visit to the Palace of Versailles, supported by a guide, is one of the options provided.
Oculus Go
The leader of virtual reality today is Oculus, a company acquired by Facebook that produces two lines of headsets for virtual reality. The first one is Oculus Rift, the most advanced model and the first to be launched on the market, which needs to be connected to a powerful computer to work. The second one is Oculus, a stand-alone headset, which therefore does not need a PC and does not even require a smartphone in the headset socket. It is quite affordable (219 euros) and very simple to use. In addition, you can count on a very large catalog of apps and an attractive design. You can also customize it with graduated lenses, for those who wear glasses.

Apps to experience virtual reality

With an headset, virtual reality for wellness is now within everyone's reach. But once you've put your mobile device inside the headsets, what are the best VR apps to use for movement? Some popular apps - which tracks sports and fitness activities using GPS technology to help athletes follow a healthy lifestyle and achieve fitness goals - has entered the virtual reality technology industry by launching a training app for Oculus.
Thanks to Oculus Rift, which integrates with Runtastic (to record and monitor personal statistics) the user can do the exercises anywhere, in total comfort, having the feeling of doing fitness on top of a beautiful hill or inside a villa by the sea with breathtaking views. A technology that "simplifies" training, thanks to 3D avatars that act as digital personal trainers, showing how to do exercises correctly.

Cycling and virtual reality, racing simulators

We can say that virtual cycling is also within this new technological field, thanks to racing simulators for virtual reality. There is software for indoor cycling on the market that, through sensors, allows the cyclist to visualize on a screen its progress and to make his 3D avatar challenge other sportsmen. How does it work? The user informs his bike by observing, on the screen, his own avatar to carry out the optional activity.
The possibilities for interaction are many: once the user has chosen the route, the type of bike and the color of the jersey to wear, he can then carry out a predefined training or a free one in different locations, even competing with other users. Some of them does not require the latest generation of equipment: its sensors - which change the level of difficulty according to the chosen route - can be applied to almost all racing bikes. For pedaling in a new… virtual dimension. Zwift for example is fully compatible with Technogym smart equipment dedicated to the world of cycling: the smart trainer MYCYCLING and the new SKILLBIKE.

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