Oculus for Exercise: Meta Acquires VR Fitness App Supernatural

Doubling down on Oculus for exercise, Meta acquired Within, maker of subscription-based VR fitness app Supernatural. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Combining exercise and entertainment, Supernatural transports users to another world for guided workouts and meditations. Like other fitness platforms, Supernatural has prioritized hit music, striking licensing deals with Warner and Universal.

More recently, the company launched boxing workouts. Plus, the app also connects with Apple Watches to track real-time heart rate and health stats.

Immersive workouts. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently unveiled Meta, the new parent company of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus — redefining the social network as a “metaverse company.

Part of the announcement, Zuckerberg paid special attention to virtual reality fitness:

“Think about it like Peloton. You have a subscription, the device is VR, you put on a headset, and you’re in an amazing environment doing a boxing class with an instructor… it’s quickly expanding beyond games.”

Zuckerberg continued, “I think we’re going to see a lot more unique experiences emerging around fitness that takes advantage of the full immersion in interactive training.” He specifically pointed to apps like Supernatural, FitXR, and Rezzil’s Player 22.

The company also plans to release Active Pack, a set of fitness-focused accessories for Oculus Quest 2 designed to turn the VR headset into a piece of gym equipment.

Moving forward, by acquiring Within, fitness will likely become central to the Oculus platform.

Fitness 3.0. Combining two trends we’ve covered in great detail, game-inspired workouts and the metaverse of fitness are redefining how we exercise.

  • Supernatural saw subscriptions more than double during the pandemic.
  • FitXR, a “virtual fitness club” accessible via Oculus, saw sales increase 535% YoY in Q4 2020.
  • A growing number of companies are leaning into gaming, including PelotonZwiftErgattaPlaypulseAviron, Capti, Quell, Fyter, and Pantheon, among many others.

Further, as esports and traditional sports converge, virtual athletics are on the rise.

Punchline: As Supernatural CEO Chris Milk sees it, “Fitness is the killer use case for VR.” With Meta acquiring Milk’s company Within, that statement could end up being true.

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