Virtuix Omni Turns Running Around on Virtual Fields into Fitness
This VR kit was built for gamers, but since it also includes an unusual treadmill, it could also be successfully used for fitness. The ability to change the surroundings on the fly would certainly make a difference.
Virtuix Omni is a system that combines a virtual reality treadmill, an Xbox 360 Kinect sensor and an Oculus Rift. The last two have also been used together in the Vertigo Simulator, another virtual reality project I wrote about a few weeks ago.
This is what the developers have to say about it: “The Omni takes virtual reality to the next level– allowing anyone to stand up and traverse virtual worlds with the natural use of their own feet. The Omni is the first virtual reality interface for moving freely and naturally in your favorite game. Moving naturally in virtual reality creates an unprecedented sense of immersion that cannot be experienced sitting down. That’s why we developed the Omni.”
Representatives of the company stated that “The Omni is a fully integrated VR interface that comes with sophisticated tracking hardware and software and is ready to play, out of the box, with any game or app that uses keyboard input.”
There are quite a few videos on YouTube documenting how Virtuix Omni works. One of the most relevant is the one below, where you can see a guy playing Valve’s Team Fortress 2 (which by the way, is free-to-play on Steam, in case you didn’t know)
Linus Sebastian also did a review of the Virtuix Omni kit, which you can watch below. He goes on to explain that the Omni kit could be used with Xbox One’s Kinect (which is higher-definition) or with a other sensors.
Omni is currently listed on Kickstarter, where Virtuix raised $793,412 (at press time), more than 5 times the initial goal of $150,000. In these conditions, Omni will soon become a mass-produced virtual reality kit, so anyone who paid more than $429 will receive their treadmill platform, shoes, and tracking hardware and software.
It’s needless to say how revolutionary this system is. Its innovation factor is represented, of course, by the treadmill, which is something that has not been used before in a virtual reality kit. I’m happy that the project got funded on Kickstarter and that people will get yet another chance to immerse deeper into the games they love.