Whether you like to hunt with a bow-and-arrow, play target archery, or just fancy yourself a Hawkeye-type superhero vigilante, keeping your skills sharp is probably something you treat with high priority. After all, shooting a bow-and-arrow is not a skill you likely get to exercise as part of your day-to-day chores, so you’ll have to go out of your way to actually do any proper training. The Wonder Fitter lets you put in that practice time from the comfort of your home.
Billed as a “smart virtual archery system,” the kit eliminates the need to drive to the local range or archery club to shoot arrows at a distant target. Heck, you don’t even need to set up a backyard range. With this thing, you can recreate the experience of archery training in the living room, the bedroom, or your game room at home, making for the most convenient way to practice.
The Wonder Fitter is, basically, an archery simulator, which combines a real recurve bow that’s been rigged with sensors, a real arrow, and a mobile app. To use, you first have to mirror your phone screen on your TV, so you can see the virtual range on the big screen. They recommend using a wireless HDMI transmitter/receiver, which they’re offering as an optional accessory, although you can use whatever setup you currently have for mirroring your phone on another display.
When that’s finished, you follow the instructions to calibrate the magnetometer and gyroscope on the bow, which will allow the app to track your aim. Once the calibration is done, you can choose which game mode you want to play and start firing those arrows.
The Wonder Fitter comes with recurve bow that’s been fitted with a shaft out front, so instead of having your arrows fly through the air towards a target, the arrow simply flies into the shaft and stays there. According to the outfit, you can remove the shaft and place it on a different bow (it houses all the sensors, too) if you’d rather use your own equipment for your practice, all while being compatible with most any type of arrow, so you can change things up if you like. Do note, maximum resistance for the bow is 20 pounds, as anything exceeding it can potentially damage the speed sensor inside the shaft.
How accurate is the simulation? According to the outfit, the device checks the user’s aim at a rate of 1,000 times per second and the speed at a rate of 10,000 times per second, which should allow for a good deal of accuracy and consistency in tracking your performance. If the regulation-size bow is a bit too big for your kids who want to use it, they also offer a youth version that’s much smaller than the standard bow. Other features include 10 hours of battery life, a shaft rated at 10,000 shots, and a draw length of 28 inches for the adult bow and 22 inches for the youth model.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Wonder Fitter. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $300.