Liteboxer Technologies is known for its innovative at-home exercise machine that teaches boxing techniques through a fun blend of music and synchronized lights. And now, the company is bringing its gamified fitness experience to VR with Liteboxer, which is out today on the Quest Platform.
Similar to Liteboxer's hardware, the VR app has you hitting six circular targets to the beat of a song (known in the app as “punch tracks”). These aren’t just generic tunes, either: You’ll find singles from top artists like Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and Ariana Grande. There are 100 rotating punch tracks to choose from, and Liteboxer lets you create and customize your own workout playlists.
You can even put down your Touch controllers altogether because Liteboxer fully supports the Quest’s hand-tracking technology. This controller-free option offers a more pure shadow boxing experience.
Liteboxer is free to download, and it includes a demo section where you can sample four punch tracks and three workout classes. The demo is available to play five times, and once you've reached that limit, you’ll no longer have access to it in the main menu.
To get the most out of your Liteboxer sessions, you can sign up for the monthly membership, which lets you access the app’s vast library of punch tracks and over 400 classes from the company’s roster of expert trainers. New content will be added daily.
The subscription comes with a seven-day free trial. After that, it costs $18.99 USD per month.
To celebrate the launch of Liteboxer, we spoke with Liteboxer Technologies CEO and Founder Jeff Morin to find out more about the app, how it uses hand tracking, and what kinds of updates people can expect in the future.
What made you want to make a VR app? How similar is it to your exercise equipment?
Jeff Morin: Liteboxer’s vision of making workouts fun extends far beyond hardware. VR allows us to democratize the at-home connected fitness experience. For those who don’t have the ability, space, or means to purchase our hardware, the VR platform makes Liteboxer more accessible.
The VR version is very similar to our hardware platform. Instead of punching a physical surface, you’re punching a virtual target. We use all the same great music and trainer content from the hardware platform and even have custom experiences made just for VR.
What makes Liteboxer different from other fitness-focused games?
JM: Liteboxer is different from other fitness-focused games for a few reasons:
1. It’s developed by a fitness company instead of a video game company. This means we use real expert trainers throughout the workout—not just their voices or for intro videos.
2. We have a special partnership with Universal Music Group. This allows people to select their own workout music instead of it just playing as background noise.
3. People have the choice to workout with or without controllers using Quest’s hand-tracking capabilities.
Can you describe how the “punch tracks” work and what makes them so unique in the VR fitness space?
JM: Punch tracks are individual songs that have a “box-to-the-beat” lighting sequence on the virtual shield that you punch. Runway lights show you when and where to punch. You get scored based on your timing, accuracy, and punch speed, and you can challenge your friends to see who gets the highest score.
The tracks are on-demand, and you can pick the music you like or combine multiple tracks to make a workout playlist. Every day, we drop new music, workouts, and challenges to keep the app fresh.
How do the trainers use the punch tracks in their classes?
JM: Trainers compose their own playlists for classes and provide you with punching combos that are synced with the beat of the music. Each class has a specific music genre and theme with varying levels of difficulty. As the trainer calls out combos, the lights on the shield are synced to show where you should punch.
Liteboxer has another workout type called “Sparring Sessions,” where trainers give you a heads up of the combos you’ll see during the punch tracks.
Liteboxer has a controller-less mode as an option as well. Why was that important to include in the app?
JM: Controller-less mode gives people more flexibility in their workout. They don’t have to worry about holding sweaty controllers, and it’s more aligned to traditional “shadow boxing” style. It also allows you to hold a weighted object to increase the workout difficulty. Controller-less workouts will let us expand to other workout modalities in the near future. With that said, controller-based workouts are great, too, if you enjoy the haptic feedback during your hits.
How does the controller-less mode take advantage of Quest’s hand-tracking technology?
JM: Using Quest’s hand-tracking technology, we’re able to see when, where, and how fast you punch. We can also use hand tracking to make sure you’re using proper form and to quantify defensive moves (slips and ducks). When coordinated with the workout, we combine these stats to measure your performance over time and give a score.
What was the process like of working with Meta’s Hands team? What were some of the technical challenges that had to be overcome?
JM: Meta’s Hands team helped us integrate best practices. Liteboxer takes many cues from the Liteboxer mobile app, which meant we had to convert many touch and scroll-type interactions to be usable in the app. The Hands team also helped us to ensure app performance didn’t take a hit when using hand tracking.
What do people get with the monthly subscription?
JM: Subscribers get access to hundreds of different workouts and punch tracks. New content is added daily featuring some of the best artists in the world like YG, Lady Gaga, and The Weeknd along with our world-class trainers. Subscribers will also be able to compete against friends in community challenges and leaderboards.
What’s the reaction been like from Liteboxer’s early testers?
JM: Liteboxer has been getting rave reviews from early testers and press. We’ve worked with seasoned VR veterans as well as folks who are new to the platform, and they all love the workouts and experience.
How will Liteboxer continue to evolve in the future?
JM: Liteboxer is working on incorporating additional VR-specific filmed content to make the workouts feel even more immersive. We’re also incorporating more trackable progress and competitive opportunities for our users.
Is there anything the trainers would like to share with our readers?
Anthony Crouchelli: We’re excited to reach a new audience of people. It’s important to make healthy choices in life (and in VR)!
Jill Barger: We’re creating a new way to workout that’s fun and engaging. The best type of fitness is the one that you actually do. Making workouts enjoyable is the first step in turning them into healthy habits.
Greg Williams: As we set the foundation for the metaverse, I’m excited to be considered a thought leader in it. I can’t wait for folks to try out Liteboxer and see how fun fitness can actually be.
Put on your virtual gloves and start sweating it out now in Liteboxer for the Quest Platform.