Since VirZOOM was founded, our company’s goal has been to harness the power of virtual reality to provide the motivation and fun people need to stay healthy and fit.
In 2014 when we started trying to tackle HOW we would get biking to work in VR, the only solution was to design the bike ourselves. With the announcement of wireless headsets, like the Quest and Go, we realized there would soon be a wider audience and that wireless headsets made the most sense for fitness applications. We took everything we learned with the VirZOOM bike, and squeezed it into a sensor and button that could be attached to any stationary bike.
Why we opened the platform to other hardware
In March of 2020 we opened up our platform to third party speed and cadence sensors based on expressed interest. With this new change, an individual who already had a sensor at home for another biking solution could easily give us a try.
When we started testing third party hardware, we were surprised to see how far these sensors and trainers had come, and were delighted to discover that they could provide a great experience when playing our games, which is the most important part for us.
The reception to this change has been amazing. We have had current customers try it and love the integration, and more than half of our new customers are now using non-VZfit sensors.
Why we are no longer going to make hardware
There are large hardware companies with strong global reach like Kinetic, Wahoo, CooSpo, Garmin, Schwinn, and Bowflex who focus exclusively on providing a great product for their customers at an affordable price. The more we have tested these devices the more confident we have become in their ability to provide a great experience for our users.
With that in mind, it was clear that we should focus the efforts of our team on providing the best VR fitness software we can, and leave the hardware to the companies who focus on it.
We will be selling through our sensor kits but holding onto enough supply to provide warranty coverage and hardware support for our existing customers. All future software updates will continue to support our sensor kit and our original bike controller.
Thank you to the hardware team
We do want to shout out to all of the people who made VirZOOM’s hardware projects a success. They have put in many hours over the years prototyping, testing, and even building hardware for customers. First and foremost is Anthony “Tony” Lorusso. Tony has built bikes, sensors, buttons, and many things that never even saw the light of day. His work literally made VirZOOM a reality and we wouldn’t be here without him. Finally, all of our hardware partners over the years: Topko, Sony/TKR, V-Star Co. and the many contractors who helped us along the way.
The future of VZfit
As we go forward, we will be adding support for Power bluetooth profiles in the next update, which will allow older and mid level trainers devices to work with our apps. After that, full Smart Bike/Trainer integration is on the way, which will bring with it the ability to control resistance on smart bikes and trainers that support it. Those hills and mountain rides are going to get a lot more real feeling.
We are a team of software developers, with our roots in simulations and the creation of video games such as Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central. By focusing on the software and the value of our memberships going forward, we know we can help many others in their journey to being healthier and happier.
Every user story, shared ride, or experience is a reminder that VZfit is providing the motivation and fun we hoped it would! We’re very excited to have the entire team focused on making the VZfit apps great, and continuing to improve them for our riders. The growth of our community and the stories they share about getting fit and looking forward to workouts are why we started VirZOOM.
As always, thanks for everything and happy riding!