Walking On the Moon: What Is Virtual Reality Fitness?
On this day which is the 50th anniversary commemorating the incredible Apollo 11 lunar landing, I thought I would give you a taste of what walking on the moon feels like, and show you what is virtual reality fitness.
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Recently I took a bit of a break to visit the great Samsung 843 Store in the Meatpacking District at the end of the Highline in NYC.
Let me tell you, this was not my intent.
Walking in only to fix my smartphone, this unanticipated move ended up sucking me into walking on the moon through Samsung’s Virtual Reality Experience.
My experience is all part of my review of the amazing Samsung 843 store.
This experience was so powerful, it truly made me question “What is virtual reality fitness?”
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Samsung 843: My Review Summary
Product Name: Samsung Group, a multi-national conglomerate company
Founder: Lee Byung-chul
Product Type: Virtual Reality Rides
What Is It: A Superstore in NYC which features different virtual reality attractions
Made By: Samsung Group
- "Walking on the Moon" Virtual Reality Ski Experience
- "Bode Miller" Virtual Reality Ski Experience
- "Wild Wave" Surfing Virtual Reality Ski Experience
- "Rollercoaster" Simulation Virtual Reality Ski Experience
Best For: Anyone!
Summary: Samsung 843 is a superstore in NYC that has 4 amazing FREE virtual reality rides. Anyone can sign up and experience this thrill on a first-come first-serve basis.
Rating: 88 out of 100
Like a Kid in an Amusement Park
The weather here in NYC was gorgeous today with low humidity in the low 80s, so I was out during the afternoon taking a leisurely stroll while basking in the sun on the Highline, when I noticed the Samsung store below in my peripheral vision.
This Samsung flagship store is located not far from my neighborhood in Chelsea below the Highline on Washington Street next to the New Whitney Museum right in the heart of Meatpacking. The Highline is an elevated city park running 1.75 miles 30 feet above street level.
I’ve been meaning to stop in this store for several weeks to fix the camera inside my phone but I always seemed to forget, since my Android has been taking blurry photos lately.
4 Virtual Reality Attractions
Even though I’ve walked by this store many times, I never realized that this store had 4 Virtual Reality fitness attractions – a Bode Miller Slalom Ski, a Wild Wave Surfing, a Rollercoaster simulator, and BEST of all a Lunar Moon Landing virtual reality attraction where you can are dressed up as an astronaut and simulate Walking on the Moon!
The best thing of all is that all are FREE to the public!
So once I walked inside this Amazing Hi-Tech store, I forgot to fix my phone! I became so distracted like a little kid in an amusement park
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Then as soon as the virtual reality operator walked over to me and goaded me saying “Care to take a virtual reality tour sir, its FREE!” I was done.
Soon I was standing in line waiting to get on the Bode Miller Slalom Ski VR “Ride”!
Bode Miller Virtual Reality Slalom Course
The Bode Miller Slalom Ski VR “Ride” simulating the Vermont 2006 Olympic Gold Medal winner’s slalom run at the Olympics defines what is virtual reality fitness. And it was so much FUN.
Let me tell you, Bode had lots of daredevil in him! Gliding and twisting down the mountain at speeds of upwards of 70 mph while making hairpin turns around tall flag posts along the steep course, the VR simulator really got your blood pumping and made you feel like you were flying down the course!
The other really cool thing was the interspersed heli-skiing simulation, where you are dropped with your skis by helicopter on top of a snow-covered peak in deep white powder, and then you must navigate down the steep and dangerous white terrain through an obstacle course of alpine trees and massive moguls while avoiding an avalanche!
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While on the simulator, the flying sensation was extremely thrilling, exhilarating, and tense-driven all at the same time. And the tension within your body while you are “riding the ski simulator” caused deep contractions of all your muscles both in your upper and lower body while flying down at extreme speeds down the variable terrain.
The Bode Miller Slalom Ski Virtual Reality Ride Simulator truly lived up to the great potential of what is virtual reality fitness.
Here is something else to be aware of.
The Virtual Reality simulator is such an unpredictable simulator, the VR staff makes you sign a liability waiver before they allow you to go on. I was told that this VR ride can be quite dangerous if you suffer from epilepsy or vertigo, and some
I’d spoken to return riders who say they have actually seen people fall off the simulator machines and hurt themselves during the event.
The Bode Miller course was quite challenging and realistic, but there are some further improvements I would suggest the tech designers and engineers should make to improve the user experience.
4 Ways to Improve Your VR Ski Experience
Here are 4 Ways to Improve your VR Ski Experience:
If they can add the above 4 enhancements to the user experience, Samsung will definitely be taking Virtual reality fitness to the next level.
Walking on the Moon
The main attraction walking on the Moon lunar virtual reality experience at Samsung was anything but a “virtual walk in the park” at the beginning. Yet the feeling was supposed to be simply amazing.
I was told that once you were strapped in this marquee simulator you knew exactly the meaning of “what is virtual reality fitness”.
However, there were several unanticipated problems for me from the onset.
Do you want to know what was very strange about my first lunar walking experience of what is virtual reality fitness?
I have done many thrill-seeking activities that were actually REAL events such as skydiving from a plane, avid snowboarding, but never experienced any such nausea or severe headache.
This only happened after 3 minutes.
The first few minutes started out quite okay. Never expected though that after 3 minutes I would begin to experience nausea and a severe headache, to the point where I ALMOST aborted the mission
Walking on the Moon: My Mistakes
My Number One HUGE mistake was that I ate a heavy meal right before the moon walk.
When I first arrived to Samsung to reserve my spot at 12:45pm, the operator told me to come back at 2:15pm. It was during the time between 12:45pm and 2:15pm that I went out to have lunch.
However, since this walking on the moon was only virtual, this is something I could not anticipate,
Even before suiting me up, I mentioned I ate a heavy meal, and the operators mentioned “….it shouldn’t be a problem.”
What the Samsung operators should have done was to be more aware of everyone meeting these minimum pre-conditions and then should have given participators fair warning about this.
Well, afterward they agreed with me, that for now on, they will be warning new participators not to eat for at least 2 hours prior.
Second, the jumpsuit harness was too tight. The operators strapped me in so tight to the point it may have been cutting off some of my oxygen, or at least prohibiting my comfort. However, before beginning the moonwalk and going virtual, this issue was corrected as the straps were slightly loosened.
Thirdly, and this is relatively minor compared to the first two, my virtual reality visor was blurred. I kept adjusting the wheel on top of it, but the clarity never was quite optimum. Still, I did get the clarity to where it became somewhat acceptable, but it was never quite “right.”
Walking on the Moon: I Would Come Back the Next Day
Unlike after 3 minutes of my first go-round, this time there would be no experience of nausea or any severe headache. There would be no unanticipated problems from the onset.
There was an indescribable feeling on weightlessness and a pervasive feeling of “calm” as I ambled along the lunar surface in a step-by-step “mini-float”.
Although the actual simulation lasted only 8 minutes, it felt like an out of body experience. As I was hopping along the lunar surface on the simulator, I managed this only slightly shifting my balance
No doubt, unlike my first lunar attempt the prior day, it was Simply Amazing!
Walking on the moon forever has defined for me the true meaning of “What is virtual reality fitness”.
Indeed my friends, I'm had so much FUN I was just like a Kid in an Amusement Park!
One day I definitely hope to remember to get my smartphone fixed!
Please feel to leave any comments below.
Thanks for the test, I will follow to see if it is reproducible.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to take advantage of the Samsung Experience. There are only three locations: LA, Houston, and NY. I’d love to do it, as it sounds like a real kick!!
Thanks for sharing, Kaju!!
I appreciate that Mitch, I wasn’t aware there were locations in Houston and LA either.
Recently I took advantage by taking another VR walk for the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. That was great and I may write a post about it:)