June 5, 2013
Omni Gaming Treadmill Doesn’t Even Break A Sweat During Kickstarter Financing Campaign
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Nascent tech company Virtuix posted a project on Kickstarter on Tuesday seeking funding to develop a treadmill that translates real-world footsteps into in-game movement.
Dubbed the Omni, the device is "the first virtual reality interface for moving freely and naturally in your favorite game,” Virtuix said. “The Omni will free gamers from passive, seated gameplay.”
But Virtuix´ Omni isn´t a typical treadmill. Rather, it lets users stand within a support ring and belt, and walk omnidirectionally in any direction they please.
Virtuix chief executive Jan Goetgeluk told Carol Pinchefsky of Forbes the Omni works with any game that uses keyboard, “because our software translates body movements to keystrokes. Those keystrokes drive your avatar in the game, so any game that uses keyboard input can be played with the Omni.”
To make the games even more fun, Virtuix recommends the use of the Oculus Rift VR glasses to make players feel as if they are truly immersed in the gaming experience.
People who want to invest in Omni via Kickstarter can chip in as little as $10, although a $249 contribution includes a support base and a $399 investment includes the entire Omni. For an additional $49, investors will receive an extra pair of the special shoes needed to use the device.
Goetgeluk said he planned to proceed with the project regardless of how the Kickstarter campaign ends.
“Even if our Kickstarter project fails, I believe there´s an incredible opportunity for virtual reality projects and the opportunity is only getting bigger every day,” he said. But any concerns of a Kickstarter failure likely melted away by late Tuesday. With 47 days left, the project has already raised nearly half a million dollars from 1,275 investors, far surpassing its $150,000 goal.