Run around the world on a treadmill with new apps, software
In this screengrab, a video simulation by BitGym takes a runner through some of the world's most beautiful landscapes.
Published Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:40AM EDT
(Relaxnews) - In the quest to make cardio machines less of a snoozefest, tech companies are emerging with cool, virtual software to simulate exercising in some of the world’s most gorgeous locales.
The latest to join the bandwagon is BitGym, which makes mobile software for smartphones and tablets to take you on a spin through the French countryside, the Swiss Alps, or the California coast.
Using a tablet’s front-facing camera, BitGym is speed-sensitive in that it can gauge your jogging speed to sync the pace of the image on your screen, which the company says could encourage gym goers to exercise a little harder and faster.
The company is launching 24 different virtual tours as well as a multiplayer mode that lets you virtually work out with friends and family remotely. The software will run on Android and iOS devices, as well as on Apple TV. With five days left of its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, BitGym has just surpassed its $30,000 goal. A pledge of $34 gets early backers a six-month subscription starting this month.
Another company offering a similar experience is FitTrip, which connects with a handful of popular heart rate monitors to sync the app with your workouts. The harder you exercise, the faster your heart beats, and the quicker the video plays to simulate how fast or slow you're cycling or running.
The app features 30-minute "trips" to regions of France including Brittany, the Pyrénées, and the Alps, as well as gorgeous terrain in Utah and Colorado.
Or try Virtual Runner, an iPad app that takes you on a tour through some of the world's most famous jogging paths -- such as New York's Central Park or along the Great Barrier Reef -- in high-definition video. Like BitGym and FitTrip, the video is shown from the runner's point of view to offer an interactive jogging experience.