The struggle is never more real than when a person’s workout is reduced to the treadmill. A struggle Blue Goji, the new startup venture from Guitar Hero founders and brothers Kai and Charles Huang, recognize. Hence Goji Play.
As described on their website, Goji Play is a fitness game devised to make 30 minutes of exercise feel like five. With its wireless sensor, a person’s walk or run or bike can actually be fun. The wireless controlers clip to the handles of cardio equipment, and as you go through its many games — Smash the Blocks, Fisticuffs, and Flying Hippo, to name a few — your fitness data is tracked, too.
Each account can be customized, too, so that users can track personal goals, calories, and overall steps. There’s even an option to compete against others using the game. Though so far, Goji Play is only compatible with iOS devices.
The game costs $100, which isn’t much considering all it comes with. To compare, FitBit’s Flex band, an activity and sleep tracker, is the same price. Jawbone’s UP is $150, with more or less the same features. Neither of these come with controlers and access to several games in order to distract you while on the dreadmill, er, treadmill.
In an interview with Mashable, Kai Huang reveals that the idea of combing health and fitness with gaming has always been interesting to him. Lest you forget: Huang and his brother also brought the world Dance Dance Revolution. “We want to figure out ways to get people healthier — more active and fit, ultimately leading them to a healthier lifestyle by leveraging gaming somehow,” he said.
The success of these interactive games withstanding, a study from Cornell University’s Food & Brand Lab found participants led on an exercise walk ate twice as many snacks than participants led on a scenic walk. Participants “reward” themselves more after a walking workout, whereas the group who was walking to just walk didn’t.
"Do whatever you can to make your workout fun. Play music, watch a video, or simply be grateful that you're working out instead of working in the office," Brian Wansink, author and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, said in a press release. "Anything that brings a smile is likely to get you to eat less.”
Similarly, a study from the Association for Psychological Science found exercise time really does fly when you’re having fun. All this to say Goji Play is an incredibly cool concept, and Blue Goji should know we’re ready to put it to the test.