As promised, Cyberith has today launched its crowd-funding campaign for its upcoming virtual reality (VR) compatible omnidirectional treadmill, the Virtualizer. The company has started a Kickstarter campaign that hopes to raise $250,000 USD by 31st August 2014 in order to help fund production of the device, which will be compatible with the Oculus Rift VR headset. Those interested will be able to use the Kickstarter as a means to pre-order the third prototype version of the device.
The Virtualizer aims to offer players full immersion with VR headsets by allowing them to walk in any direction on the device’s platform and have those movements replicated in-game. Unlike its rival, Virtuix’s Omni, the device doesn’t require special shoes for use and allows players to crouch. Like the Omni, it also allows for perform other actions such as jumping. The kit links to PCs using a USB port and doesn’t require an additioanl power supply.
Cyberith is also planning to release a software development kit (SDK) for the Virtualizer for developers to take full advantage of. The company reasons that an SDK is necessary due to recent videogames not allowing for analog crouching or seperating view from the player’s movement. The SDK should be releasing in an alpha phase at the start of autumn 2014, with a beta phase expected to launch by the end of the year.
Fast fans will be able to pledge $599 to pre-order the device, which will be shipping in March 2014 should the Kickstarter campaign go to plan. 100 units are available at this price, before it increases to $699 VRFocus will continue to follow the Virtualizer’s progress both as a product and on Kickstarter, reporting back with any more updates.