The dawn of virtual reality is upon us with the arrival of the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion. But is head tracking and ultra accurate finger tracking just not enough for you? The Virtuix Omni aims to change that in an incredible way.
The Omni aims to add another dimension to your game by letting you walk and run freely around in your virtual world. The apparatus consists of a concave low friction bowl and a waist support belt to hold you in place. The user wears low friction shoes which enable you to walk and run on the spot. The bowl aims to mimic a natural gait.
As it stands now the Omni is hardware only – there are no electricals at all. The apparatus relies on third party tracking software to translate your movements into keystrokes. At the moment they are using the Microsoft Kinect to track your movements, but are looking for other ways to integrate with Playstation and PC.
Virtuix have said they aim to make the device accessible and affordable to household consumers – it would be my guess that this is why they’ve chosen an all hardware device. The latest omni (above) is still a prototype – the aim is to get the final device smaller and lower to the ground. It will also be easy to disassemble and store – a great feature considering the size it is.
This device could eliminate one of the biggest issues with gaming today – sitting on the sofa all day long. Personally, this would be a great incentive for me to get up and walk around – a truly immersive gaming experience – especially coupled with an Oculus headset.
Eventually the device will support jumping, strafing, running, crouching and possibly even hand or arm movements. I don’t know about you, but that all seems pretty exciting to me! The product will be launched as a Kickstarter project – we’ll be posting about it as soon as it launches!