Quell, a UK gaming company focused on bespoke fitness experiences driven by its 'Impact' connected workout device, recently closed off a $10 million series A round led by Chinese tech giant Tencent.
Quell's gaming device is powered by lightweight motion and biometric sensors attuned to the player's posture as they launch a flurry of full-body gestures to complete each workout.
The sensors are fixed to boxing sleeves that wrap around the player's wrists, while the game's controller is split so the player can move each hand freely, resulting in a complete fitness experience that doesn't compromise gameplay.
Quell claims a full-body workout burning 600 calories an hour is achieved in the typical Impact routine, comparable to the typical gym spin class.
The compact form factor contrasts with bulky VR headset machines on the market, which have won plaudits for enabling exercise routines.
In addition, the player can choose from several resistance bands that add weight to the workout session to help them build muscle.
The Impact device will launch later this year with its debut game, Shardfall, an animated shadowboxing combat game that throws in heaps of straight jumps, running and other cardio-related probes for good measure.
Impact's embedded fitness trackers can also gauge calories burned, heart rate and speed, and will adjust the difficulty of the game to deliver intensified exercise.
After landing the series A kitty, Quell says it will be able to "upsize" Shardfall's launch while hitting ignition on commercial production for the core Impact device, having already secured 10,000 customer pre-orders. It also expects to get cracking on follow-up titles for its Impact games library.
Ling Ge, Tencent's chief European representative, commented: “Tencent is delighted to support Quell as it looks to bring the future of fitness to consumers globally. Until now, fitness gaming was an undeveloped sector, providing either a great gaming or fitness experience, but never both.
"Quell’s Impact device solves this problem – by refusing to sacrifice entertainment or exercise, it provides a consistently entertaining, exhilarating home fitness experience. We’re confident Quell will drive fitness gaming to the mainstream and are proud to support them as they work towards their global launch this year.”
Cameron Brookhouse, Quell CEO and co-founder, added: “The Quell Impact is the first gaming platform designed from the ground-up to deliver high-intensity, personalised workouts where the player is the controller.
"Through our pioneering technology, we aim to help millions of people worldwide unlock the health and wellness benefits of exercising while immersing them in worlds where the hero gets stronger as they do."
"We’re thrilled with the support we’ve received from such a distinguished team of investors and look forward to seeing the over 10,000 Impact pre-orders arrive in people’s homes soon.”