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$40 Virtual Reality for Stationary Bikes

Posted on 1.25.2016

The only thing worse than a treadmill is a stationary bike, but add in some virtual reality and you have a recipe for an awesome workout. 

In a recent YouTube video, Paul Yan used an Arduino circuit board with a Bluetooth link to a smartphone. An optical tachometer was fitted to the board which monitors the amount of time takes fora  wheel to complete a single revoluion - measuring the movement and speed. With power from a single 9 volt battery, the Arduino is palced next to teh back wheel where it uses a strip on the tire as a starting point. 

Using a custom made iOS app, and a pre-built 3D world powered by the Unity 3D game engine, the iPhone is slipped into a VR headset ready for the ‘cyclist’ to wear. Instead of a wall, the TV, or the sweaty back of another gym-goer to stare at, it transports you into a colorful, game-like 3D city. Peddle away, and you’re off on a tour. The headset used cost $10, and is compatible with Google Cardboard, which can be had for free provided you come up with a way to secure it on your face.


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