Saturday, March 26, 2022

Less lonely Alzheimer's patients using virtual reality

Staying connected is important for anyone, but especially for those with early staged of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, virtual reality may be one way to provide a close emotional connection in the absence of physical connection.  Especially during the pandemic, virtual reality could be one means to keep older family members connected to the rest of the family.  
As reported at SXSW, using virtual reality to recall memories and names, and places it might not reverse demential or Alzheimer's but it can slow the progression.

'We're moving to the era of prescription digital medicines'

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Friday, March 25, 2022

Brelyon Ultra Reality Display: VR without a headset

One of the largest complaints against VR headsets like Oculus Quest is the fact you have to cover your eyes completely, and for some the immersive environment is disorienting.  This new prototype by Breylon hopes to bridge the gap by using a large display that provides greater depth of field. One caveat is that you have to sit closer to the monitor than you would normally for a standard display.

If we're going to be spending more time in the metaverse, a big display like this might be an alternative to having to wear a headset all day for work, recreation, and exercise.

Projected for a 2024 release date and a price tag around $5,000 to $7,500, it won't be the first monitor to try to provide greater depth of field and immersion without a headset.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Video games "exergames" enjoyable for beginners

Video games that require you to move are called exergames, and have been found to be a useful way to get more physical activity especially in those not getting the recommended levels of daily activity.

Not surprisingly, those that consistently played exergames enjoyed the experience more than traditional exercise. As previously reported, autonomy has been linked to enjoyment and participation levels; 

The researchers found that physical exertion levels were higher in traditional aerobics classes. But the exergamers enjoyed themselves more, and described a sense of autonomy over their workouts afterward—and this sense of autonomy could mean the difference between skipping the gym and choosing to exercise every day.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Virtual kayaking for stroke rehab

Stoke recovery patients were asked to play an exergame (Recovery Rapids) at home for three weeks and compared the results to patients who asked to do traditional therapy, and the results were similar.

"Motor practice: Participants agreed to play Recovery Rapids for a total of 15 hours (1·5 hours per day) on 10 treatment days over three weeks. This treatment schedule was designed to dose-match the duration of active motor practice provided in CI therapy (the same duration of active motor practice could be accomplished in half of the time because gaming treatment involves continuous practice without breaks for task set-up; automated feedback also occurs concurrently with game play). Participants could self-pace their game play (i.e., pause for short rests or begin another session later)."

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Exergaming: why VR workouts are taking over fitness

Will we all be exergame kicking, slashing, and bopping to better health in 2022? These types of headlines have been around for the past two decades of growth in the area of video game and virtual reality fitness. 

This article summarizes the many games and platforms that immerse users into simulations, virtual and augmented reality worlds using various sensors, smart equipment, and Oculus Quest equipment. 

Oculus’ latest tagline: ‘Cardio can be fun in VR’ has been used and or adopted by games like DDR, Wii Fit, EyeToy Kinetic, Xbox Kinect, and Just Dance to name a few. What remains to be seen is whether these games can progressively improve users' health and wellness over time.

“VR-based training now has a really solid base of scientific testing. This testing tells us that being in VR creates a better brain-to-muscle (neuromuscular) link, which can help for not only a more effective workout but also helps a member become more bodily aware (which can help increase performance in other exercises),”

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Monday, March 7, 2022

FitXR online classes in Virtual Reality

Paying for a virtual workout with a trainer doesn't have to cost as much as a Peloton bike and monthly fee. For about $10/month and an Oculus Quest 2, you can enjoy different FitXR workouts ranging from HIIT to boxing focused sweat sessions with your favorite trainer. 

Obviously the photo provided uses no handheld controllers or headsets, and for many that is the most critical role of VR. 

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Virtual Fitnessplaying Lanebreak by Peloton

Using Peloton's bike, a new game was released for users to engage more in a playful environment as opposed to a bike workout per se. Exergaming indeed with Peloton's connected cycle and cried by your cadence and power output. In some ways it's similar to the ExerBike, BrainBike, and GameBike released over a decade ago.

This article does a great job breaking down the new features and unique gaming interaction.
The goal of Peloton Lanebreak is to score as many points as you can – which you do by completing challenges as you are riding. There are 3 different types of challenges in the game. As we mention above, everything is controlled by your cadence or resistance.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Will Goggle Soli Radar detect and improve your health?

Without wearable tech, could Google's Soli radar system detect health levels and assess users from a distance? Part of the ATAP Google group explores this possibility leveraging their ability to capture and crunch data on a massive scale.

"...much of the research is based on proxemics, the study of how people use space around them to mediate social interactions. As you get closer to another person, you expect increased engagement and intimacy. The ATAP team used this and other social cues to establish that people and devices have their own concepts of personal space._

Monday, February 28, 2022

Too much VR? ‘VZfit’ overwhelms the senses in all the wrong ways

Keep a balance between an immersive game and physical activity driven interfaces has been a challenge since the Nintendo Powerpad and through EyeToy, Wii, and Kinect. The user's experience playing VZFit is definitely one that should be considered if you're interested in the workout world of virtual reality. 

From the passages described, one of the bigger issues was when using Google Earth and Oculus VR, moving from place to place was disorienting given the way you "move" from spot to spot.
I was teleported to a kind of twisted, 3-D reflection of my youth. The VR-mapped scenery rolling past me along my childhood street looked vaguely familiar, but its warped nature felt like someone was extracting my memories through some sort of neural jack, transmitting them somewhere via a 14.4 modem and reassembling them around me. I feel like this must be what the world looks like once you've been assimilated into the Borg."

Friday, February 25, 2022

Tele-exergaming to prevent de-conditioning COVID-19

The following is a link to a registered trial to conduct a feasability study on the use of a tablet to prevent de-conditioning in COVID-19 patients.

Background: Conventional face-to-face in-hospital mobility program (MP) is challenging for COVID-19 patients because of its associated risk of infection to hospital staff, staffing shortages as well as indirect risk of exposure to other hospitalized patients. Exergames are digital or web-based games that use body movement to promote physical activity and generally involve strength, balance, and flexibility exercises. The tele-exergame MP, developed by the team, uses a remotely supervised and game-based approach, which helps to increase patient motivation and engagement in a cognitively demanding exercise program.

Objectives: To demonstrate the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of the Tele-Exergame mobility program in COVID-19 or PUI (persons under investigation), during hospitalization and examine post-hospitalization outcomes. 
Aim 1: To examine feasibility of Tele-exergame. The investigators will evaluate feasibility by documenting missing exercise sessions, exercise dropout, and acceptability questionnaire.

Aim 2: To examine proof of concept effectiveness to reduce deconditioning. The investigators will assess deconditioning (using wearables) and patient reported mental health assessed at baseline at discharge.

Aim 3: Examine proof of concept effectiveness to accelerate recovery post hospital discharge.

Approximately 4 weeks after discharge, patients will be contacted by telemedicine or telephone and requested to self-report on the Veterans mental health and the Veterans mobility.


COVID-19 patients or PUI (persons under investigation) admitted to the MEDVAMC (n=60), with an anticipated length of stay of at least 3 days will be recruited. Participants will be randomized (n=1:1) to either intervention (IG) or control (CG) groups. Both groups will receive standard of care. IG will additionally receive Tele-Exergame MP therapy. Tele-Exergame sessions will range from 3-10 minutes based on patient ability and completed twice daily. They will complete assessments at baseline and at one-month post-hospital discharge.


The proposed contact-less mobility program could address the limitations of conventional in-hospital mobility program and advance the field of in-hospital exercise program.

The investigators will use innovative wearables to exploring potential digital biomarkers of hospital-acquired illness including cognitive-frailty. illness.

This study will advance the field of remote patient monitoring


Its implementation not only for mobility program for hospitalized COVID-19 Veteran patients but also to deliver personalized exercise for non-COVID-19 Veteran patients with limited mobility including in bedbound and hospitalized Veteran patients Mobilizing hospitalized Veteran patients could mitigate hospital acquired complications like deconditioning, VTE and nosocomial infections and accelerate recovery post hospitalization
Research Design: Prospective randomized
Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

MultiBall 'exergames' for seniors

Keeping active at every age is important and the use of exergames and  motion controllers is nothing new with seniors. From PS2 EyeToy to Nintendo Wii game platforms and developers have targeted seniors to become more regular gamers. For many families, Nintendo Wii truly became inter-generational with Bowling and  Fishing nights being popular in many homes.

Multiball incorporates a large screen display to act as a giant target and game board, that  detects ball strikes either through touch  sensitive panels or optical sensors. Similar to the LightWall,  iWall or other display/wall interaction systems.

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Is Liteboxer in the Metaverse better than Peleton?

Is Liteboxer in the Metaverse better than Peleton?  

Liteboxer 2.0
Real equipment, virtual world and virtual trainer 
  • VR Oculus Quest 2 ($300)
  • $19/monthly subscription
  • 500 classes
Liteboxer 1.0
Real equipment, virtual world and virtual trainer 
  • Physical "smart" equipment (+$1500)
  • $30/ monthly subscription
  • 800 classes

Some will prefer the physical targeting and sensations, while others will enjoy the virtual experiences. A more immersive experience would be with a haptic vest, on an  omni-deck, with haptic controllers to  provide more feedback and sensations.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Infinite Walking VR Boots for the Metaverse

Can walking in the metaverse and virtual reality lead to better health? Maybe using these large Ekto VR, boots might make your experience more realistic. Apparently they also have the feature of reducing motion sickness,  one of my personal  pet peeves about VR environments.

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

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