​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.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
2 min read

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.

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 or HTC Vive . 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 looks like hyperfun

See all photos

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.