Virtuix will be shipping their Omni Virtual Reality treadmill in September if you pre-order one right now for the price of $499. Omni treadmills will actually begin shipping in July, so early adopters could be getting theirs as soon as this summer. The price doesn’t include the shipping fee and doesn’t include the necessary Oculus Rift headset or PC controller you need to make it work as intended.
Virtuix, a Houston, TX company was on Kickstarter last June for the set goal of getting funding for $150,000 for Virtuix Omni, and ended up surpassing its goal and getting $1,109,351 with 3,249 backers. Pre-orders opened last August, and it originally was slated to ship last month. The device offers a multi-directional movement together with VR support, and comes with a black harness, a pair of shoes, tracking software and a mini-game demo.
The Omni had used Microsoft’s Kinect to track movements, but now there are 40 capacitive sensors in the bottom of the unit that tells the unit when you take a step and how fast you’re moving. If you walk forward, your character in the game walks forward, turn right or left, and your character follows those movements. The shoe provides almost no friction on the plastic surface of the unit, which allows you comfortably run in place while also wearing the harness to be safe in place.
The Omni will work on most games, but having the ability to match your speed and other specific controls will require the use of the company’s SDK, and these features would be only in games that come out in the future that fully support Omni.
“It will be made available fairly soon,” Virtuix CEO Jan Goetgeluk explained. “We’re reaching out to developers here and giving them early access to the SDK so they can start playing around with the motion functions the Omni provides.” The SDK can also be used to create mods for existing games, which might include features like running from the dragons in Skyrim or run/walk while shooting in Borderlands 2 or running through the tall grass in Pokemon games. Either way, the SDK will allow you to do a lot of walking and running in games to come.