Last month the China-based company KAT VR announced a new product, the KAT Walk Mini, which was a smaller omni-directional treadmill designed for use with virtual reality (VR) titles. This came with the news it would be funded via a Kickstarter but now, a few weeks after the announcement the company have revealed that they are scrapping the Kickstarter altogether.
Taking to the company blog, the announcement was made that following some successful cooperation with business partners that KAT VR now have the resources and ability to proceed with the research and development of the KAT Walk Mini without the need for crowdfunding. This is a bit of a surprise announcement but it is good news ensuring that the product will indeed come to be a reality without the need for a successful Kickstarter run.
With the announcement of the move to scrap the crowdfunding also comes the reveal of the price and pre-order discounts. This will see the first group to pre-order getting a bigger discount off the retail price with every week the discount getting smaller and smaller until the pre-orders are the full price of $2,499 (USD). If you pre-order the KAT Walk Mini before April 20th then you can get it for the lowest price which is $1,499 (USD).
KAT VR are best known for their successful Kickstarter and release of the KAT Walk which was their first omni-directional treadmill that was meant with praise. The KAT Walk Mini is designed to take the solution from the first product but make it more refined and smaller in footprint to make it a more accessible product. The KAT Walk Mini also replaced the old wireless foot sensors with a laser sensor array built into the base plate of the device, allowing for a much faster response time ensuring lower latency when in user.
Had KAT VR gone with the Kickstarter for the KAT Walk Mini they would of seen the interact in the product and sales in real time, ensuring the number of backers would cover their initial production run. Now, with the switch to pre-orders, the company is still likely to see the same success, if not maybe more, but it does mean a little bit less transparency in the cycle. Here is hoping that all goes well and the product is able to be delivered and be what users hope for.
VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on the KAT Walk Mini in future