Virtual reality (VR) input solutions such as SteamVR’s Room Scale user-tracking may well be the definitive path for the technology in the long run, but it appears that VR fans haven’t lost their faith in the omni-directional treadmill. While work on both the Cyberith Virtualizer and Virtuix Omni continues, KatVR has just announced the closure of its Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for a new contender named Kat Walk. The kit managed to smash its initial target of $100,000 USD, ending up raising some $149,278 to help bring it to market.
Kat Walk differs itself from the competition by opting not to use a ring that keeps the player in place on the disk that they run in. Instead, the kit features an over-head support that holds a suspended harness that can handle up to 140kg of weight. This grants users greater freedom of movement, allowing them to naturally move their arms within a VR experience using head-mounted displays (HMDs) such as the Oculus Rift. The device also allows players to run, kick, jump and more with its high-friction surface.
The campaign did manage to beat its first $120,000 stretch goal, incorporating a foldable wheel system into the tech. This makes the kit easier to transport, though the wheels can also be tucked away to ensure sturdiness. Despite falling just short of the $150,000 stretch goal, the company will also be offering a white version of the device.
KatVR has also confirmed that pre-order offers for those that didn’t secure a kit during the Kickstarter campaign will also be launching in the near future. These will be listed on its official site, starting at $799.
VRFocus will continue to follow Kat Walk closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.