On HBO’s Silicon Valley, T.J. Miller’s character Erlich Bachman refers to virtual reality as “the frothiest space in the Valley right now … nobody understands it but everyone wants in.”
While the contraption you see here hails from a German tech hub instead of an American one, this real-life VR project sure looks like a perfect example of what Bachman was talking about.
A workout machine that combines planking, hand controls and a VR headset, the Icaros lets users exercise by performing three-dimensional movements while flying through a virtual world.
Designed around the shape of a gyroscope, the odd-looking machine — which has feet and hand pegs as well as knee and elbow pads — lets users strap in and pilot through the VR experience of their choice (flying, diving, free-falling, etc.) using a phone and the tethered headset.
“The vision behind Icaros is that exercise can be fun. You can play and not have it weigh on your conscience, company CEO Johannes Scholl told The ISPO Network. “The era of tediously lifting weights, which so many people find so boring, is over.”
While $8,400 seems high (and about right) for a grounded flying machine, it’ll make a great conversation piece. And if you take the exercise outta the equation, it does make for a badass VR toy.
If you’re interested, here’s where to get your virtual workout wings.