Virtuix Omni Treadmill Surpasses Kickstarter Goal

Virtuix Omni Treadmill Surpasses Kickstarter Goal

Virtuix Omni-Directional Treamill Living Room

The gaming treadmill designed alongside the Oculus Rift headset is currently raising $1000 a minute on Kickstarter.

If you're interested in virtual reality tech like the Oculus Rift, odds are you're keeping a close eye on Virtuix's Omni-Directional Treadmill. In development for the past two years, the Omni is designed to translate real-life movements into in-game actions, so players can literally hike through Skyrim's vast landscape or run for cover in a first-person shooter. Today, Virtuix launched a new Kickstarter project to fund the Omni into its manufacturing stage, and more importantly, to put discounted units under the feet of fans. Apparently people really want their virtual reality machines; the Omni not only exceeded its $150,000 goal within hours, but the donation amount is rising at a rate of $1000 a minute.

"The Omni is the result of two years of researching, experimenting, prototyping and designing," says Virtuix founder Jan Goetgeluk. "We've done a lot of work, and now we're turning to the community to get the Omni through the manufacturing phase. With the help of the community we can start tooling, and get as many Omnis as possible in the hands of VR gaming enthusiasts. Our Kickstarter rewards also come with a significant discount on the Omni's future retail price."

Virtuix's Kickstater is offering various treadmill packages among its reward tiers, but most are highly limited. Every Omni treadmill below $400 has already sold out, save for a $300 "do it yourself" edition that lets hardcore enthusiasts design their unit's upper support structure. There's a pretty good chance that even those copies will have vanished by the time you're done reading this sentence, so if you really want an Omni without paying full price, you should probably get to Virtuix's Kickstarter page right away.

Source: Kickstarter, via Eurogamer

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I'm still trying to figure out how the hell the damn thing works... How do you get a treadmill to be omni-directional without making it float? All the ways I can think up make it sound like it would suck.

Also, I would personally want an XL model for myself. I'm a big guy that doesn't like being contained.

Oh, and I'd pay a helluva lot of money to get the oculus rift to work with some program that allows you to go sight seeing without being there. Think about it: Having a virtual model of something like downtown new york to just walk around in. Hell, if you can make the treadmill climb hills you can create a fairly accurate hiking simulation.

uchytjes:
I'm still trying to figure out how the hell the damn thing works... How do you get a treadmill to be omni-directional without making it float? All the ways I can think up make it sound like it would suck.

Also, I would personally want an XL model for myself. I'm a big guy that doesn't like being contained.

They explain in the KS video, but if you want the short version: there are no moving parts--it's got a low-friction surface and you walk/run on it with special shoes (designed to keep you from slipping or sliding left/right).

I'm torn between thinking this is completely ridiculous and wishing that I had the money and space to have one. Walking through Skyrim or New Vegas sounds amazing. Although, if their videos are anything to go by, you look quite silly while doing it.

After watching the Skyrim video, my first question is "how do you jump?" Also, while this could be adequate for a game with simple movement like Skyrim, I'm not sure that it would do nearly as well when playing something like Mirror's Edge.

I'd buy it if I had money to burn, but as it stands, I'd rather invest in a good HOTAS for Star Citizen.

EDIT: Okay, so the main Kickstarter video shows the jumping bit, though the discrepancy between the short hop he did and the way jumping works in most games might hurt the immersion a bit. Still, at least it can be done.

Son of EDIT: You know, I may consider getting one just for the sake of exercise. It sure would beat fighting the crowds at the gym or running in the hot humid Okinawa summer.

Damn, I wish kickstarter was around a lot earlier. So many cool projects I saw at E3s indie company hall years ago and it didn't attract enough public interest to keep those businesses around. Especially the company that made the haptic gloves.

hmmm not going outside to go "running" feels a bit pointless but to think I'd have to stop playing games out of exhaustion... that's a solution to my addictive gaming! Suck it up kinect your out of business.

Can you use any shoe or just the ones coming with the thing? They look uncomfy.

While I do like their ingenuity people seem to skip the fact this is very early prototype stuff, and in case you still don't understand that means about 10 versions away from a pain free product...

Right now they don't even have built in tracking of anything, you have to buy at least one extra motion tracker, one VR set (or pay a guy to carry your screen around the room), and then you will need a motion controlled hand device, next to all that you will need software that coordinates all these at the same time for a reasonable input... which is software that does not exist and nor do games that could use that input.
I understand you want to skip ahead and have it all but the reality is you need to wait until shit works and until you have game to use it for.

Needless to say, this seems all kinds of awesome, but I'm a bit concerned with the special shoes aspect of it; it could just be a safety thing for liability reasons, but it still seems like a pain

Once the first wave of kickstarter models come out, I'll form more of an opinion about that

 

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