A Flying Machine for the Home Gym

I’ve always wanted to fly of my own volition.

When I was young, I tried to make a hang glider to achieve this goal. I had dreams of flying that were so intense that I’d wake up with headaches from concentrating on levitation. It was truly ingrained into my subconscious.

I’ve been waiting for a future of jetpacks and flying cars, and that future always seems to be just around the corner. However, today I discovered an alternate solution: virtual reality flying.

A company called HYVE has created a virtual reality “bodytainment” workout station called Icaros that looks quite different than your typical elliptical machine. It’s specifically focused on making a user feel like they’re flying as they work out. Here’s what it looks like in action:

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While it doesn’t look like a particularly comfortable workout position, I tried it out on my carpet and it’s not too bad. I’m guessing that once the world starts to move in front of your eyes, your muscle instincts kick in as you try to avoid obstacles. The machine moves with you, both side to side and up and down.

They’re hoping to feature a bunch of different workout games that send you through canyons, cities, and even outer space. I’d love if they added a podracing feature.

My only concern is if the virtual reality is as immersive as it needs to be to make you feel like you’re flying, would I accidentally throw myself off of the machine to avoid Ultron? I’m sure they’ve tested this.

The website indicates they’ll be crowdfunding Icaros at some point in the future. I subscribed to get that alert. It’s probably well out of budget for me, but if I found out a gym had one of these, I would definitely have to give it a try.

What do you think? If you share my desire to fly, would this satisfy your curiosity?