Virtuix Omni Makes Virtual Reality Gaming a Real Reality (Video)

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Virtuix Omni Makes Virtual Reality Gaming a Real Reality (Video)   omni 500x322

It may not quite be the Holodeck from Star Trek, but the Omni from Virtuix could be the closest thing we’ve ever had to “real” virtual reality gaming, complete with motion sensing and a totally immersive experience. They’re almost ready to launch; they just need some funding help.

Ever since we first started to play games like Pac-Man and Pong, we’ve wanted our video games to mirror reality to the best of our ability. That’s why developers work so hard to give us awesome graphics and killer physics engines, but we’re still largely interacting with these game environments using a controller. Pushing the “W” key on your keyboard isn’t exactly the same as taking a physical step forward.

You might remember the Oculus Rift that has been making the rounds in the last year or two. With this headset, which is way better than Nintendo’s old Virtual Boy, you can literally look to your left or right and your in-game avatar will do the same. The 3D head-mounted display follows your movements. The Virtuix Omni goes further by effectively adding an omnidirectional treadmill under your feet, except this version has no moving parts. That saves costs, saves space and makes it much more feasible to have this kind of experience in the home.

Virtuix Omni Makes Virtual Reality Gaming a Real Reality (Video)   omni1 500x286

The natural application here is with first-person shooters and action-adventure type games, but Omni could easily be adapted to all sorts of possibilities. Virtual travel tours, virtual home tours, virtual jogs through faraway lands where you are actually jogging… it’s all pretty awesome and achievable. In the video below, you’ll even see guys like Linus Sebastian (Linus Tech Tips) and Chris Pirillo saying how great Omni is.

Even though the Kickstarter campaign only started today with a funding goal of $150,000, it has already received nearly $400,000 in pledges and several of the early bird rewards for an Omni itself are already sold out. There are still some available at the $399 level and up, as of this writing, so get on it if you want to get immersed in a VR environment ASAP.

Full Press Release »

Virtuix Omni Virtual Reality Interface Has Launched on Kickstarter
Early Funder Incentives and New Game Demos are Online
HOUSTON, TX – Virtuix has launched a Kickstarter campaign today, June 4th for the Omni, the first virtual reality interface for moving freely and naturally in your favorite game. The full set of incentives, accessories, and configurations are now available on Kickstarter at:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1944625487/omni-move-naturally-in-your-favorite-game

A revolution in virtual reality is underway—consumers can now explore virtual worlds with the natural use of their hands and eyes thanks to affordable devices such as the Razer Hydra and Oculus Rift. The Omni evolves virtual reality one step further, allowing anyone to stand up and traverse virtual worlds with the natural use of their own feet. Moving naturally in virtual reality creates an unprecedented sense of immersion.

The Omni will free gamers from passive, seated gameplay, unleashing the full potential of virtual reality gaming with the Oculus Rift and future head mounted displays.

“Gaming on a keyboard, mouse or gamepad while seated pales in comparison to the intense experience and fun that comes from actually walking, running, and jumping in games.” said Jan Goetgeluk, CEO of Virtuix. “Bringing this innovation to Kickstarter will accelerate the integration of natural motion into emerging virtual reality applications such as gaming, fitness, and simulation.”

The Kickstarter community has been instrumental in funding the current wave of exciting new virtual reality technologies, making Kickstarter the ideal place to launch the Omni. Kickstarter funding will be used to prepare for final production and get Omnis built and into the hands of as many gamers, researchers, enthusiasts, and developers as possible.

About the Virtuix Omni
The Omni is a natural interface for moving in virtual reality. The result of two years of design and testing, the Omni has a base with a grooved, low-friction surface. Special pinned shoes keep the foot stabilized and prevent lateral sliding. A stabilizing ring at the waist and a support belt keep users in place while walking on the Omni. Users walk naturally, and the result is a natural interface that works with any game or application that uses keyboard input. Walk, run, jump, crouch, or strafe—movements mapped to the keyboard can be mapped to natural motion with the Omni.

About

Michael Kwan is a freelance writer, button masher, published author, and professional gadget geek. Fueled by caffeine and Wi-Fi, he personifies the digital lifestyle. Follow Michael on Twitter (@michaelkwan) and Instagram (@beyondtherhetoric).

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