Foldable Treadmill To Explore Virtual Worlds Is Walking Its Way To Sale
By Mikelle Leow, 22 Mar 2023
Leg day doesn’t pause in virtual reality—but you’ll be so entranced, you won’t even feel it happening. A long-anticipated VR treadmill by Austin-based Virtuix is finally making great strides into the consumer market after being held back by the pandemic, and it’s set to bring immersive gameplay into smaller spaces while keeping players active.
The Omni One treadmill is a circular, 360-degree platform that lets you navigate video games and other virtual environments in every direction—all within a four-foot space, so you won’t wind up in the kitchen or something. The device promises “unmatched freedom of movement” in VR; you can walk forward or backward, sprint, jump, or crouch and kneel to defend yourself from nemeses.
Players explore virtual territory with special shoes on, which contain sensors to transport their feet into games or the metaverse. For safety, they are strapped to a harness to prevent them from falling or knocking into walls or objects.
The Omni One was planned for consumer launch back in 2021, but this was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Now, Virtuix has shipped out the first units to early investors ahead of a public release planned for this year. Apparently, more than 35,000 players are on the waitlist.
The arcade treadmill may be long-awaited, but it’s not Virtuix’s first. It’s a compact and lightweight update to the company’s Omni Pro. Also, to add to its space-saving design, Omni One can be folded and stashed away when it’s not in use.
Omni One’s creators also emphasize that the VR treadmill “keeps you in shape by burning calories while gaming.”
The treadmill comes with a Pico Neo 3 Pro headset that doesn’t need a PC or additional accessories, which makes the “completely entertainment system” fairly portable. Pico Neo 3 boasts the same processor and resolution found in the Meta Quest 2, “but offers a wider field,” says Virtuix. Included are a game store running on Omni One’s own operating software, social features, and 30 in-built titles.
As with buying a patch of land in the metaverse, though, this gear that straddles the virtual and physical worlds might leave a tangible hole in your wallet. The Omni One will set you back US$2,595 with shipping, or US$65 per month if you go with a subscription plan. If only they accepted virtual-reality bucks.
[via MIXED Reality News and SlashGear, images via Virtuix / PR Newswire]
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