Netpulse Acquires Virtual Active

Netpulse Inc., which provides personalized interactive media for fitness centers, has acquired Virtual Active, a media company that produces exercise-focused, virtual reality products, the two San Francisco-based companies announced today.

As part of the acquisition, the entire Virtual Active team will join Netpulse. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, Netpulse expands its platform, which provides consumers worldwide with engaging content and data on their fitness experience. Netpulse has partnerships with seven commercial fitness equipment manufacturers to provide this data on their equipment. In addition, the Netpulse platform is available to consumers outside health clubs via mobile devices and home fitness products.

The Virtual Active team films and produces high-definition runs and rides through famous locations around the world. Shot from a first-person perspective, the films transport exercisers to trails and paths in destinations such as the Swiss Alps, Northern Italy, the Black Forest, the Rocky Mountains, and cityscapes such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Berlin and Venice. Soon, exercisers will be able to experience renowned events such as classic cycling races and famous marathons around the world.

“Virtual Active’s engaging content and propriety methods combined with Netpulse’s patented technology creates an incredibly powerful platform that provides tremendous benefits to our OEM partners, health clubs and exercisers,” Netpulse CEO and co-founder Bryan Arp said in a release. “With the Virtual Active acquisition, 2012 is going to be an explosive year of growth for us as we integrate sponsored events, social competitions, and other ‘gamification’ elements into our interactive media solution.”

John Ford, president and founder of Virtual Active, said, “The broad distribution of the Netpulse platform means even more exercisers will experience the unique Virtual Active content, allowing us to do more with it than ever before.”

With the acquisition, Virtual Active will become a division of Netpulse. And one of its first announcements as a division of the company is that Virtual Active has teamed with exergaming company BitGym to launch the Virtual Active experience on an app for iOS. Virtual Active App combines forward-motion video shot from a first-person perspective with BitGym’s patented video speed interactivity technology, allowing users to move through the Virtual Active video based on the rate of their exercise on the fitness equipment.

To use the app, exercisers just place an iPad or iPhone on the fitness equipment and begin their workout without the need for special hardware or cables.

Each app download includes a free introductory video session and the ability to purchase complete sessions in famous locations from around the globe, including The Swiss Alps, Venice, the Pacific Northwest and the Grand Canyon. The app is available on iTunes and works with an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

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