Meta is making another big push for VR fitness. Starting in April, the company will make it possible to see your VR fitness stats from Oculus Move in more places instead of just within a VR app on the Quest and Quest 2 headset. You’ll be able to opt in to see metrics (calories burned, minutes spent working out, and your VR fitness goals) within the Oculus mobile app for iOS and Android.
There’s slightly bigger news for iOS users who want all of their fitness data to go into one pot, so to speak: Oculus Move will support integration with Apple Health, so your VR workouts can be tracked in the same app as your standard, non-VR workouts. Meta says that it’s exploring integrations with additional fitness tracking platforms.
Syncing your VR metrics with the Oculus app or Apple Health requires opting in, and Meta says that it does not use Move metrics to inform ads you see across the company’s other services. If you sync your data with the Oculus mobile app, your Move data will be stored on Meta’s servers and protected with end-to-end encryption. Meta will update its supplemental data policy on April 11th with info on how it stores your fitness-related info if you choose to opt-in, and you can view those terms here.
Working out in virtual reality has grown in popularity since the launch of the Quest 2 in late 2020. The pandemic played a role in this trend; people wanted to be engaged and stay fit from the comfort of their homes. But it’s also because some of the fitness experiences are really fun, from what I’ve heard — and it’s presumably a very profitable business for Meta. In October 2021, the company purchased Within, the team responsible for Supernatural, which is arguably the most popular subscription-based fitness app available for the Oculus Quest standalone virtual reality headset.
In the event that Apple ever releases its long-rumored AR / VR headset with Apple Health integration of a similar sort, at least iOS users will have more than one option for a headset that can contribute to their fitness goals.