Virtuix Omni Preview: A gaming treadmill for the future?
Gamers rejoice! VR (Virtual Reality) is finally here. Not only in the form of VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive etc. But a full fledged “gaming treadmill” experience in the Virtuix Omni. Gamers are no longer bound to a chair or a couch to play games. And not only teenage kids have to be gamers now. Everyone can afford time to game! Are you a busy entrepreneur? Have a block of workout time reserved for yourself in the morning? Now, workout doesn’t have to be just thoughts of “Oh, my ankles have started to hurt. Have they? No, now they’re definitely hurting.” You can literally get a workout while playing a game now!
How does it work?
Instead of sitting comfortably, are you just standing now? No you are not. The platform is multi-directional and you can run and walk in any direction you want. For as long as you want. Can you even imagine exploring a quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or a mission in Grand Theft Auto V eating tons of pizza and cake? Of course you can. And nothing adds to your love handles? I think I just found my next big project. 😀
Basically you are harnessed into a platform with a smooth surface, with equally smooth (and I’m guessing comfortable) shoes, with tracking pods fixed on them. Those tracking pods track your every movement while you slide around on it. It can be unnerving at first. But just like anything, practice makes perfect. And you will pretty soon get the hang of it.
These are the shoes and the tracking pods which fix on them to track your movements in the virtual world. They should be easily replaceable. I expect to see many independent shoe makers making special shoes for the Omni once this hits big-time. Reebok VR Dark Souls Edition anyone??
I’m assuming these pods are built with a sturdy material and Virtuix provides some sort of warranty and easy replacement for them. Because they are quite integral to the whole experience.
Videos below shows the Virtuix Omni in action:
You can preorder the product on Virtuix’s official website. It should release some time in 2016. And it might be a bit on the pricey side. It may also be a complete no-no if you’re not a gaming or virtual reality enthusiast. Furthermore, a combination of this, a VR headset like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive + a decent gaming PC can cost you upwards of $2,000. That’s a lot to invest in for non-VR enthusiasts. But I’m sure we will soon see packages being offered by a collaboration between Virtuix, VR headset makers and PC manufacturers. They’re already making VR backpacks.
Exciting times ahead for sure!