The coronavirus pandemic has made a few things quite obvious: healthcare in the US is woefully inadequate for a large portion of the population, wearing a mask for the 15 minutes you’re at the grocery store is apparently too much to ask, and being stuck inside really sucks. If you’re in good health and take the proper precautions, you can get outside to do some running or cycling. But you probably shouldn’t be doing any traveling, which can be quite limiting. Fortunately, the Blync virtual reality cycling system can give you the ability to ride your bank in all kinds of beautiful virtual settings.
Blync is launching through Kickstarter, and the campaign recently surpassed its funding goal and still has a little over a week to go. The Blync system contains both the hardware and software to convert any bicycle into a virtual reality experience. It’s intended to be used with a bike trainer stand, which lifts your bike’s rear wheel off the ground and adds resistance, so you can peddle along while you remain stationary in your living room. The Blync hardware includes a sensor that monitors the speed of your rear wheel and a special “Path Sensor” that detects the steering angle of your front wheel.
The Blync software works with typical virtual reality headsets, and currently has support for all Oculus VR devices and some Steam VR devices. The team also hopes to add support for Vive products. You can also use a standard computer monitor if you prefer. In the virtual world, you can either choose a first person or third person perspective. As you pedal, the Speed Sensor controls how quickly you move through the environment. The Path Sensor lets you navigate through that environment. Many virtual settings will be available for you to cycle through, and you can even perform stunts and play games. If you’re not happy with the provided worlds, you can create your own to enjoy.
If you want to give Blync a try, you have until September 10th to back the Kickstarter campaign. You can get a single Blync system (including the Speed Sensor, Path Sensor, VR app, and mobile app access) for CA $119 (about $92 USD). Rewards are expected to be delivered in January of 2021.