Asics Corp. announced that its investment subsidiary, Asics Ventures Corp., had invested in Valkyrie Industries, Ltd., a London-based startup that combines virtual reality with electrical muscle stimulation. The funding amount was undisclosed.
The funding will accelerate the product development of EIR Armbands, Valkyrie’s wearable muscle-based haptics that uses electronic pulses to simulate weight and tension in virtual reality.
Founded in London in 2017, Valkyrie also agreed with Asics to collaborate on EIR Training, its virtual reality fitness training platform that enables users to interact with different trainers to experience its muscle-based exercises. The training allows participants to participate in virtual fitness classes led by coaches in the Metaverse. The experience is customizable and the program includes structured courses incorporating virtual equipment, including cable machines and dumbbells. The EIR Armbands stimulate each muscle and simulate realistic movement through electrical simulation on the biceps and triceps.
As a first initiative with Valkyrie, Asics plans to have coaches in EIR Training put Asics’ sportswear on in 2023. Asics also plans to develop and offer fitness classes on the EIR training platform. In the future, Asics will also develop new content using the Asics Institute of Sports Science and integrate it with Valkyrie Industries’ technology.
“We believe that Valkyrie Industries’ technology, which provides accessible, inclusive and enjoyable sports experiences for everyone, anytime, anywhere, has huge potential,” said Akihiro Mori, president of Asics Ventures. “This collaboration will also strengthen the various XR initiatives concurrently being developed within Asics to offer entertaining physical activities in the virtual world and demonstrates our full commitment to provide value-added products and services to our customers via partnerships with innovative startups.”