VR fitness just got a long-overdue update.
The latest: Connected hardware turned VR fitness company Liteboxer rebranded to Litesport and introduced a Strength Training feature, replacing joysticks with real dumbbells.
For context: It’s been an interesting journey for Litesport.
- July 2020: Liteboxer debuted a connected punching bag, raising $20M the following summer.
- January 2022: It launched VR boxing for Meta Quest.
- June 2022: It unveiled Liteboxer Go, punch-tracking sensors for shadowboxing workouts.
- October 2022: Moving beyond boxing, it created Total Body, a VR HIIT workout.
Entering the metaverse, Litesport appears to have found its footing, achieving over 940K VR app installs in about a year.
State of play. Because most games rely on handheld joysticks, VR fitness has delivered a number of boxing-focused workouts that emulated hit VR game Beat Saber, where players punch on rhythm while dodging obstacles.
While other modalities, like HIIT and meditation, are now available in the metaverse, VR fitness was beginning to look like a pandemic fad on par with connected equipment.
By introducing 1:1 personal training without leaderboards, scores, joysticks, or punching — Liteboxer wants to level up VR fitness.
According to CEO Jeff Morin, its progressive strength programming gamifies real gains (and real weight), without the price or time constraints of going to the gym:
“We are unique in the space where the trainer is in front of you, showing you good form, sweating, and doing the work. Now take that, add the interactivity and the feedback made possible by working out in the headset, and we have something pretty addictive.
VR fitness Gen2. Along with Litesport, the next generation of VR fitness is already taking shape.
- In February, Meta (fka Facebook) acquired Within, makers of virtual exercise platform Supernatural, after a US antitrust lawsuit was thrown out.
- This March, exergaming platform FitXR launched on PICO, a Meta Quest rival serving Europe and East Asia, becoming one of the first multi-platform operators.
- StatusPRO and the NFL launched a quarterback game, while basketball-focused Gym Class, fresh off an $8M raise, just partnered with the NBA on licensed content.
Elsewhere… Black Box VR’s in-studio resistance training experience has expanded to three states since its inception in 2019, including a shop-in-shop deal with budget gym EōS.
Takeaway: VR fitness is here to stay. But, to catch on, it’ll have to provide an experience you can’t get at a typical gym or develop digital training that directly translates to performance IRL. Affordable in-home strength training isn’t a bad start.