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​I rode a metal-winged VR exoskeleton, and boy did my arms hurt

I'm not sure I'm ready for full-body flying simulators, based on my time with the Hypersuit.


I was flying across a polygon-filled cloudy kingdom, rising too high. Like Charlie Bucket drinking the Fizzy Lifting Drink, I didn't know how to come down. My right arm didn't seem to be working well. It felt like my wings were broken.

I turned upward, and nearly hit a mountain. We reset the system and I tried again. I eventually got the hang of swimming in a giant metal reclining motorized gaming accessory, but my arms seriously hurt.

Maybe I need to go the gym more.

Now playing: Watch this: We took a magic ride in a metal VR skeleton with Hypersuit

The Hypersuit is a prototype, not meant for the home. It was created by Theory, a company based out of Paris "craving for technologies that amplify experiences."

It's designed to fit in VR arcades or other public VR places, a ride using existing VR hardware such as Oculus Rift ($290 at Amazon) or HTC Vive ($900 at Amazon). It's gigantic, and looks completely ripped out of a James Cameron movie. It's all metal grilles and pistons. Two hand grips on two extending, multijointed wing-arms were my main interaction tools.

The Hypersuit is shaped a bit like a motorcycle: I climbed on and leaned forward, put on the Vive helmet, and pushed my arms out. The suit was created to fulfill a dream, according to Theory's Tom Sicard.

"With VR anything is possible. Let's do it... flying machine. We want to make a complete exoskeleton," Sicard says of Theory's future plans. Allow the feet to move, make a giant mech-suit. I found it really hard to control, and the extra arm exertion hurt my shoulders after a while. I wasn't dizzy, but I didn't feel great. The Hypersuit could use some tuning. Extending the whole body into VR isn't easy.

But hey, if I could ride a metal VR suit one day, I'd give it a try.