Welcome, sports fans, to the start of virtual boxing training. In this corner…you!
What is it?
Box the Bag puts you in a gym with either a speed bag or a heavy bag for some light training. I say light because it doesn’t get any lighter than punching air. The general purpose seems to be to refine your timing and accuracy.
How does it work?
Fire up the app and set your iDevice about two feet away (propped up on a shelf/desk or held up by a really good friend). It helps if you can keep it shoulder height.
The app uses the front camera to see what you’re doing. When it detects something getting larger, and aimed at the blinking target, the app registers a “hit.” Since it doesn’t know your hands from anything else, leaning in to see what happened will register a hit (I had a couple of involuntary Manchester kiss “hits”).
This app is so control simple you don’t even need to touch the screen (except a tap to start). The graphics are close to photo realistic, and not distracting. The sounds are okay, but the music is a bit off putting (there is a setting to turn it off if you don’t like it).
Is it contagious?
I’m not thrilled with this one. The hits didn’t seem very consistent in registering. Strikes that should have been hits were ignored by the app, and some movements that were not strikes did register. The speed bag didn’t seem to deliver much speed, let alone the staccato triplet rhythm associated with the basic punching pattern.
If you have never done any training or sparring, it may be okay as a beginner’s tool, and it will keep you moving your upper body for some light cardio. If you have had formal training, it may be a bit disappointing, especially on the small screen of the iPhone/iPod Touch.
Suffice it to say, I wasn’t knocked out by this app (sorry…that one was too good to pass on).