- During his mission on the International Space Station, the International Space Station, Thomas Pesquet will use technology developed by Hérault-based Fit Immersion.
- This app allows you to pedal on an exercise bike, while immersed, via a virtual reality headset, on real 360 degree tracks.
- This device is not intended for astronauts: the general public can also afford the Fit Immersion app, which is adaptable to all types of bikes.
During his six-month mission aboard the International Space Station, Thomas Pesquet will (almost) ride his bike as if he were on Earth. The French astronaut, who will take off on April 22 aboard the Crew Dragon, will embark with him in space an amazing device, developed by Hérault. Immersion suit : This app, which has caught the attention of the National Center for Space Studies, allows the Oculus Quest virtual reality headset to pedal while immersing in ground roads.
We travel the streets of Paris, Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in Cole de la Ginst, between Marseille and Cassis, “while we sit on a training bike,” he explains 20 minutes Dimitri Prikhodko, founder of Fit Immersion. These tracks, specially selected for Thomas Pesquet, from among the fifteen available, were previously filmed in a real setting, at 360 degrees. For the illusion to be perfect, the pedals with sensors also allow these images to be synchronized with the speed at which the astronaut will take.
“This is totally insane.”
For this technology to take off with Thomas Pesquet is a dream for this young startup. “We didn’t expect that at all,” says the entrepreneur. One morning, we got an email from CNES, it just happened like this. It’s totally crazy to see your app go to space! But Thomas Pesquet (who’s trying it out is visible on European Space Agency website) Not the only person who can benefit from this immersive technology. It’s compatible with all bikes, even elliptical bikes: the general public can also afford the Fit Immersion package, for its prestigious road clearance, while staying in their living room. It costs 199 euros with a virtual reality headset to fit your Android smartphone, and 599 euros for a stand-alone headset.
“We initially developed this solution for gyms,” continues the entrepreneur, whose start-up is incubated in Montpellier, in Beziers. Then, since our first imprisonment, we resorted to sports at home. The application allows, for the most competitive, measurement of the evolution of heart rate and speed, and is supported by a virtual trainer to achieve the goal of the program.
It was his personal experience that gave the idea to Dmitri Prikhodko, who plays high-level athletics, to create this app a few years ago. “I really hate exercising a bike,” he smiles. But sometimes I find myself compelled to do this. By discovering virtual reality technology, I realized something could be done to make this practice even more fun! He did not know, until now, that his idea would have flown more than 400 kilometers above the ground.