Peripheral manufacturer Virtuix, which has created an omni-directional treadmill for virtual reality (VR) through Kickstarter crowd funding has announced the delivery of its first unit to a backer. And to celebrate the launch the company has also revealed it will host an active VR e-sports tournament, at its booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada next month.
Virtuix’s patent pending, omni-directional treadmill enables users to walk, run, sit and strafe within a 360 degree virtual world. Being able to actively move in VR, where actions in a videogame are controlled by first-person navigation like walking or running, helps to create a further sense of immersion and presence.
The first unit was received by Fred Wood a VR enthusiast who backed Virtuix’s successful Kickstarter campaign on day one, with a small celebration at Wood’s home. “I’ve always wanted to run around in impossible, virtual worlds,” said Fred Wood in a statement. “Virtuix has developed a product to make that possible, and I can’t wait to start running on my Omni.”
“Without the early support of backers like Fred Wood, Virtuix would not be in a position to deliver Active VR to the gaming community,” said Virtuix’s CEO Jan Goetgeluk We feel that Active VR is the best and most immersive way to explore virtual reality and perhaps the only way to experience popular gaming genres like first-person shooters and exploration games safely and comfortably in a virtual environment. Today we announce the delivery of our first unit and our official launch to be held at CES. We will deliver 50 additional units to early backers and partners in January and follow that with the order fulfillment for all of our more than 4,000 backers and pre-order customers.”
In regards to the CES tournament Robert Brackenridge, Director of Games at Virtuix has said: “CES marks the first time that consumers will see Omni Arena, a competitive, multiplayer arena shooter demo created specifically for VRand the Omni. We feel bringing e-sports and VR gaming out of the chair and adding an active physical component creates an extra layer of excitement for both competitors and spectators.”
Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to try the Omni with both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive head mounted displays (HMDs). It is currently available for pre-order for $699 USD per unit at www.virtuix.com.
VRFocus will continue to follow the latest updates to the Virtuix Omni, reporting back any further announcements.