Mental Health, Project, Research, Wellness Journey

Using Technology to Escape My Depression 3: Revamping Workouts with VR (Oculus Quest)

Now that I’ve gotten myself organized with to-do lists and goals, I can finally focus on the physical health part without worrying about dropping the ball on literally everything else in my life.

This is basically my life, only instead of being overwhelmed by pancakes I’m overwhelmed by financial, mental, physical, work, and social obligations.

Since my knee is finally at the point in recovery where I can row again, I decided I’d look into rowing machine workouts. During my research I stumbled upon HoloFit VR and was blown away by the concept.

In order to get HoloFit to work you can either buy a HTC Vive Focus headset from them for $690 with the software pre-installed, or buy your own compatible headset and install yourself. Since I don’t mind installing my own software (knowing it could end up being a giant pain), I decided to purchase my own headset to save quite a bit of money.

We just binged the latest season of Schitts Creek in two nights and I am impressed we didn’t do it in one

After a few days research on Holofit compatible VR headsets, I narrowed down the options to one of the two wireless models: HTC Vive Focus Plus or the Oculus Quest. In the end, I chose the Quest because not only was it half the price, but it had a superior game library and released functionality called “Oculus Link” that allows it to become a tethered headset to your PC to play ANY PC VR game!

Since the software is not yet approved in the Oculus Quest store, I had to jump through some developer hoops in order to side load it to the device. Of course I ran into some issues along the way like any of my tech projects, but I am really excited that I am now set up to develop and load custom software onto my VR headset!

The best way to set up is from this thread that pointed to an automatic way to install VRidge using Windows PowerShell ran in Administrator mode (good thing I dual boot in Linux and Windows 10).

Honestly, I don’t know what I expected to find when I typed “dual boot” in giphy search…

Honestly, it was more than worth it to save $300! All you need is to sign up for a myHoloFit account at holodia.com and order a $9.99 subscription per month to get access. Plus you can order bluetooth sensors for $35 to attach to bike pedals or rower handles to make older gym equipment Holofit compatible!

Check out the Holofit FAQ for more info: https://www.holodia.com/faq/

After trying VR for a few days, my mind is STILL blown away by it. I even did my first rowing workout and I got my heart rate up and sweat for the first time since my knee surgery!

7 minutes doesn’t seem impressive, but trust me, it’s a big accomplishment for me!

Aside from Holofit, I downloaded several other games to try that were highly rated for not only the VR experience, but also fitness aspect.

  • Vader Immortal: Episode I and Episode II (LIGHT SABER BATTLES????)
  • The Thrill of the Fight (Realistic boxing experience that will leave you sweating like you’re at the gym!)
  • Racket: Nx (A futuristic VR arena version of racketball)
  • Beat Saber (Light Saber + Guitar Hero + DDR!)
  • Superhot VR (You’re basically Neo in the Matrix destroying hoards of enemies that emerge from all directions)

As of now, I’m extremely excited about the fitness aspect that VR gaming brings to the table. I’m hoping this will help me stay motivated to cross train harder at home in a fun way. Of course, it won’t replace Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but hopefully this will help get me in better shape for it!

Gym selfie with my bestie!

Update: I just followed this SUPER SIMPLE tutorial to cast anything my Quest sees WIRELESSLY TO MY PC!!! I just downloaded the Windows 64 files, extracted it to the C drive, connected my Quest in developer mode to my PC and clicked the “Connect wireless adb QUEST.bat” file. I disconnected my Quest as instructed and hit enter, then I double clicked on the “Cast to your PC quest.bat” file and suddenly a pop up appeared that was casting my Quest wirelessly to my PC!

The future is soooooo coooooool

Check out the full video below, but honestly I didn’t even watch the whole thing, I just downloaded the files and clicked since I had already enabled developer mode the other day for Holofit. I joined the Facebook Quest Community group and I can’t wait to try more fun little VR projects like this!

This is amazing! 0_0

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