When it comes to virtual reality (VR) videogames to many things still aren’t what they want them to be, and part of that is that the sense of immersion doesn’t necessarily match up with what they expect or would hope for. There is an ongoing desire for freedom of movement when it comes to VR. One of the reasons this year, 2018, promises to be the year of standalone head mounted displays (HMDs) and wireless or ‘untethered’ solutions coming to the fore.
However, there’s still the desire to move around with actual 1-to-1 movement as opposed to moving via one of the methods of teleportation often employed. And unless you’re looking to enjoying a warehouse style VR experience, when it comes to that kind of feeling in the home there aren’t many solutions. One that does however is the idea of the omnidirectional treadmill, a motion platform that enables 360 degree movement whilst in a virtual environment. Examples of which include Chinese company KAT VR’s KAT Walk treadmill, which has support from titles such as Arizona Sunshine, Island 359 and Dreadhalls and there is also the somewhat more well-known Virtuix Omni treadmill.
VRFocus has followed the story of the Omni for as long as the site has been in operation. Founded in April 2013, the company based in the city of Austin in Texas, hasn’t had the smoothest of roads. Multiple successful funding and investment rounds did not result in the end product for all. However, Virtuix has been consistently updating and has now shipped more than 2,500 units, is an official hardware partner of HTC and Omni systems can be found around the world.
Their latest announcement sees the company reveal it will be participating in next week’s Amusement Expo International at the Las Vegas Convention Center, something that no doubt VRFocus will be covering at a later date in our series The Virtual Arena. Virtuix will be demonstrating their hardware, as well as Omni Arena and their Omniverse videogames platform which saw the addition of support for Vindicta earlier this month.
CEO Jan Goetgeluk will also be at the event too, as part of a discussion on how owners of location-based VR spaces can maximise their return on investment.
“We’re very excited to show our latest Omni improvements and Omniverse games at the Amusement Expo,” Said Goetgeluk. “Ever since we launched our Omniverse gaming platform, the Omni has become an entertainment hit at VR arcades and top FECs around the world like Rec Room in Calgary or PlayTime Crown in Melbourne. We look forward to introducing the latest Omni technology to FEC operators from the U.S. and elsewhere.”
Amusement Expo International takes place over Tuesday February 27th 2018. VRFocus will bring you more news on developments with the Virtuix Omni and other VR hardware very soon.