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Immersed on the slopes of Ventoux with a virtual reality helmet


We experimented with the virtual reality headset from the French start-up Fit Immersion, which specializes in connected fitness.

The summit of Mont Ventoux appears in the line of sight. Galvanized by the beauty of the landscape, we redouble our energy to complete this 10 km course, winding through the vineyards and pine forests. Perched on our bike, we never tire of admiring the surroundings, letting our gaze wander 360 degrees. After 40 minutes of effort, we regretfully leave our virtual reality headset and get off our connected bike to find the artificial light of a gym.

For the purposes of this article, we tested the virtual reality headset of the French start-up Fit Immersion, specialized in connected fitness, in the premises of the club La salle de sport, in Paris (9e). Compatible with all types of exercise bikes, ellipticals and home trainers, it offers total immersion pedaling on 28 international tourist or sports routes, while benefiting from an effort analysis (heart rate, speed, etc.) and virtual coaching in real time, in order to accomplish the objectives of the chosen programs.

The Fit Immersion experience is also available on Meta Quest headsets, but for maximum comfort, the start-up offers its own model (Pro-2 Edition virtual reality kit, €599; or Mobile-2 Edition operator kit smartphone screen, €199).

Ride on the moon

Less heavy and better balanced, the Pro-2 kit works independently, without cables and without the need for network access during use, with a battery life of 2.5 hours. It benefits from a catalog of 28 360 videos degrees (France, Canada, Hungary, Siberia, etc.), filmed in 8K but broadcast for the time being in 4K, while waiting for the technology to evolve. The headset itself only has a 2K display, “ample sufficient to display a mere portion of the landscape”, says Dimitri Prikhodko, the founder of Fit Immersion.

In the test, we were thrilled by an effective feeling of immersion, able to isolate us from the artificial lights of the basement and to make us almost forget the effort produced to pedal. Connected to a generic bicycle, the system displays the speed and the power produced in real time. That’s all! With a more compatible bike, we would have had the right to modify the pedaling resistance according to the elevations.

Note that it is possible to add a heart sensor to monitor all the constants of performance. Only downside, we would have preferred a higher display resolution so as not to discern the pixels and to reinforce the immersion. On the other hand, we loved pedaling on the moon, even if it was difficult for us to estimate the realism of the experience…

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