BlackBox VR, a Boise company that is developing a virtual fitness gym, was named Best Startup at the annual CES consumer electronics show this week in Las Vegas.
The award was given by Engadget, a gadget and consumer-tech blog network.
Customers don virtual-reality headsets that help them leap, pull and navigate through a virtual world designed as a workout.
“Black Box VR is building the gym of the future,” an Engadget reporter wrote. “Using the HTC Vive [a virtual-reality headset], motion-tracking controllers and specially designed workout equipment, Black Box turns exercise into a video game.”
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Black Box founder Preston Lewis said in a statement: “In BlackBox you utilize strength, agility, balance and speed in a larger-than-life virtual world where we are able to harness the nature that is brought out in video games — dedication, determination, and longevity — and turn it into real, physical workouts that challenge both mind and body.”
Lewis and Ryan DeLuca, the founder of Bodybuilding.com, a nutritional supplement dealer, started BlackBox VR in 2016. Lewis had also worked at Bodybuilding.com. In a 2016 interview with the Idaho Statesman, DeLuca spoke about how BlackBox VR came to reality.
The company plans to set up a boutique gym in San Franciso this year and to expand to other gyms later.