SymGym – A Video Game Controller That Offers a Full-Body Workout

The SymGym may look like a combination between a rowing machine and a stair stepper, but it’s actually a revolutionary video game controller that allows gamers to get a full body workout while doing what they love most.

Chicago-based startup SymGym describes its innovative device as “a resistance-based game controller and gaming platform” that adjusts the level of resistance according to gameplay. The joysticks and buttons are replaced with levers and pedals that you have to either push or pull to play the game. For example, if you have to walk uphill in a video game, pushing the pedals is going to be significantly harder than when walking on flat terrain. Picking heavy objects in the game is also going to require more strength when operating the levers than say pushing a door open.


SymGym can apparently emulate both the PlayStation or Xbox controllers, so you can technically use it to play any video came, but the company claims it’s best suited for games with basic inputs – think classics like Pac-Man or Asteroids – and titles designed specifically for the device. SymGym is currently trying to get indie developers involved in creating video games for their unique controller, and an online gaming platform where SymGym users can challenge and play against each other is also in the works.


While gaming devices like the Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect, which challenge gamers to get up and move while playing, have been around for a while, SymGym takes the idea one step further by introducing resistance to the user’s movements, which results in a better workout. Additionally, SymGym monitors players’ exercise to track calories burned, level of difficulty, power output, duration, resistance, allowing them to view and track their statistics and progress over time.


After launching several iterations of prototypes over the last few years, SymGym plans to finally launch their product this year. If you’re wondering how much this resistance-based game controller will cost, all we can say is “so are we”. In the FAQ section of their website, the company only mentions that it’s “aiming for $15 per SymGym Studio session”, but makes no reference to a per-device cost.


With millions of people glued to their monitors or smartphone screens these days, the SymGym might actually prove a big hit, if it actually works as advertised. However, it has some serious competition in Pokemon Go, the gaming phenomenon that’s already getting millions of people to actually go outside and walk for miles in search of Pokemon.


Photos: SymGym

via New Atlas

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