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Meta sees VR fitness revolution and will make its next headsets “sweatproof”.

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Andrew Cohen


When Meta — then known as Facebook — bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014, the virtual reality headset was set to become a home for next-gen gaming. What the social network didn’t expect was the launch of fitness apps for training in virtual reality.

“I have a completely different mindset now about where I think gaming on VR is going. I think it’s going to revolutionize fitness,” said Rob Shaw, Meta’s director of North American sports partnerships, at SportTechie’s State Of The Industry conference on Wednesday. He spoke on the Engaging Fans in the Metaverse panel alongside Candy Digital CMO Andre Llewellyn and Atlanta Braves Vice President of Marketing and Innovation Greg Mize.

Meta began its foray into fitness last November with the acquisition of virtual reality fitness app Supernatural. With VR apps that include boxing, dancing, and other full-body workouts, Meta is building its next Quest headset to be “sweatproof.”

“The next iteration we’re going to have of our current product, the Quest 2, is making the headset more sweat-proof so the controllers have a better grip,” Shaw said. “People are using our platform to train and we didn’t necessarily predict that. We now have developers making these games for people to take action on. So I think gaming will change in many ways.”

Last month, the NFL partnered with StatusPro to create a virtual reality football game. This game, which will be available on Metas Quest and PlayStation VR headsets, prioritizes movement – such as B. Users performing physical throwing motions – while playing quarterback in their virtual soccer environment.

Meta has also partnered with the NFL around Super Bowl LVI to allow fans to dress their digital avatars in Rams and Bengals branded apparel. The digital clothing was free to purchase on Meta’s platforms, but the company expects users will eventually have to pay for their virtual avatar’s loot.

“Our intention is to develop a marketplace where these jerseys or shirts can be sold,” Shaw said. “There will be a business model where the funds can flow back to the leagues and teams or whoever owns the IP.”

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