Indoor bikes have come a long way since their inception, and many people, including us, thought the concept reached its pinnacle with the release of the Peloton Bike, one of the biggest success stories of the pandemic/lockdown period. However, many exercisers are looking beyond Peloton these days, trying to find the next best thing to usher in a new era of indoor cycling workouts. The PlayPulse ONE might just be the product we've all been waiting for.
The Norwegian at-home fitness company's first product, PlayPulse ONE, is said to be the first-ever gaming bike with a powerful integrated gaming computer, dedicated graphics and built-in game controllers, which blends multiplayer games into a "seamless and immersive workout that you'll actually look forward to." One thing is for sure; we'll need to update our best exercise bike guide once we get to test and review PlayPulse...
Featuring a 24" Full-HD touchscreen display, integrated speaker and controller (with ergonomic grip, 8-button joystick, integrated heart rate sensors), WiFi connection, Intel I5-9400F CPU, 8 GB RAM, dedicated graphics card (2GB VRAM) and 64 GB SSD, the PlayPulse ONE is essentially a gaming laptop disguised as an exercise bike. Its exercise bike specs are equally as impressive: sturdy welded-steel frame, magnetic resistance with digital adjustment, spring-loaded height adjustment (steering and seat) and more.
You can choose from four games at launch, including capture the flag and bumper cars, with many more to come. "PlayPulse's games are designed to be similar to the popular games you can already find on PCs and consoles," says Kristoffer Hagen, Head of Games and co-founder at PlayPulse, "However, the majority of them are designed as a high-intensity interval exercise, alternating between periods of high and low movement requirement, without ever explicitly telling the players this."
So, the faster your pedal, the faster you move in the different games. PlayPulse's 'high accuracy' pedal sensor translates exact movements, from sneaking around a corner to quick acceleration to reach a goal for total immersion. Similar to high-end consoles, the handlebar controllers enable profound gaming experiences with a joystick, eight buttons, haptic feedback and HR sensors.
Is the PlayPulse ONE for gamers only? "Even though gamification drives our innovation and is at the core of what we do, we're aiming to make use of the advanced technology in the PlayPulse ONE to create as many interactive workout experiences as possible for a wide audience," Mr Hagen explains, "PlayPulse ONE is the cardio device for the whole family."
The games are made specifically to cater to both hardcore gamers and the hyper-casual such as the multiplayer capture-the-flag game PedalTanks, where you can communicate with friends online, to PlayPulse's casual puzzler, Raido. "Our fitness app, Studio, is also gamified with visual cues for pace and effort but made to cater to people that want a simpler "pure" workout," he adds, "We also provide access to popular streaming services via user's subscriptions. And if you want, you can overlay Studio so that you have to keep a certain pace for the show to keep streaming."
The PlayPulse ONE exercise bike can be pre-ordered now directly from PlayPulse (opens in new tab).