VR sports app makes Quest 2 compatible with actual treadmills
Just released, free update 2.0 to fitness app Octonic increases native support to over 400 treadmills from a total of 40 brands. They are controlled directly in virtual reality via Bluetooth connection (start, stop, speed, etc.). Models from NoblePro are replicated in VR with centimeter precision.
Other treadmills are operated by exercisers using the video view of the front cameras. They make the real controls visible. According to Octonic, 99% of all treadmills on the market can now be used in VR. Also new is optional controller handling instead of hand tracking.
Two new worlds include the natural setting "Sky Island" and the gaming environment "Sprintblaster." More game-changing content is planned for the future. Ports for future mobile headsets are also in the works. These could be Meta Quest 3 as well as a successor to Pico 4.
The VR sports app Octonic offers a slightly different VR workout. When you jog on the actual treadmill, your Quest 2 game world moves too.
The Meta Quest 2 (review) now has some high-quality workout apps in its marketplace. Besides subscription offers like Fit XR or Liteboxer, there are also some fixed-price apps like Les Mills Body Combat. They make you sweat and even gave MIXED editor Ben sore muscles in previously unknown places.
When jogging on a conventional treadmill, on the other hand, few people think about virtual reality. The app Octonic wants to change that. According to the description, the title from Meta's early access store App Lab works with any treadmill. Put on the VR headset, get on the training device, calibrate briefly and the run can start.
Safe treadmill training with a VR headset
In VR, it appears as if you're running through red stone canyons or across alien planetary surfaces full of solar sails. The app displays a virtual counterpart of the treadmill, of course, so you don't bang into the front or slide off the back end of the belt. Additionally, there is a warning system with various signals in case of too much deviation in any direction.
To make the experience as safe and easy as possible, controllers don't work with the app. Instead, Quest 2 captures hands via hand-tracking while running. The first Quest is no longer supported, but the new Quest Pro (review) is.
Best performances in walking, running, or sprinting revolve around typical fitness goals like step count, calories burned, speed, average pace, or distance times. Computer-controlled competitors come free of charge. A multiplayer arena with friends, strangers, and other bots is available as paid add-on content.
Early reviewers praise the ability to embed treadmill controls into computer graphics via passthrough. There is also an alternative display option that replaces this part of the device with an overlay and turns real buttons into digital buttons. One of the biggest criticisms in the comments so far is hand tracking, which is not always as accurate as one would like.
Octonic is compatible with every treadmill
The developer fully integrated several treadmills from partner manufacturers into the game. Certain models stop the belt as soon as exercisers get too close to its end. Non-supported treadmills get a standard digital counterpart in the game.
The developer plans on more social features as well as customizations in the future. In addition, the development team is thinking about ways to make other training devices XR-compatible besides treadmills.