Virtuix Omni Gaming Treadmill Available for Preorder

Virtuix Omni gaming treadmill

Virtuix Omni gaming treadmill

With the success of motion gaming such as Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect, what could up the ante of the video gaming experience? According to one company, it is time to add a treadmill to the mix. After raising $1.1 million on Kickstarter, the Virtuix Omni gaming treadmill is now available for preorder.

As Virtuix calls it, the Omni treadmill is a “virtual reality interface”. It looks like that virtual reality gaming stand you see in arcades during the 1990s. It features a 48-inch-diameter platform with two arms extending upward to support the 20-inch-diameter ring right within the gaming treadmill’s center. This ring helps support your upper body in place, so you would not end up veering away from the platform and cause nasty accidents.

Virtuix Omni gaming treadmill

And we kid you not when we say the Virtuix Omni is a treadmill; the platform actually moves in every direction you would want to walk or run. It also detects specific gameplay movements such as crouching, jumping, and even strafing, making this gaming treadmill ideal for first-person shooting games.

The Omni treadmill works with the Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality gaming headset. However, the headset is currently available as a $300 prototype developer kit, which means it is intended for game developers. Both the Rift and Omni only work for PC games, with the headset being plugged to the computer.

A major stumbling block in marketing the Virtuix Omni is that you can only purchase the gaming treadmill and the VR headset separately. The Omni is shipped with a support harness and a single pair of running shoes specifically for this treadmill.

What makes the shoes different? According to Virtuix, they possess a “low-friction sole with an intricate sole configuration that stabilizes the foot.” It enables the player to walk steadily instead of having their feet slide from right to left.

The Virtuix Omni gaming treadmill is slated for release in March 2014. Preorders are now accepted for the $499 single model and the $1,019 “Dual Pack”, which includes another treadmill, an extra set of accessories, and two more pairs of Omni-specific shoes. Note that you may need to shell out an additional $60 to $90 for shipping the single treadmill set within the North America, even more for international purchasers.

Source: PC Magazine

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