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Omni VR Treadmill Interface: Work Hard & Play Hard at the Same Time

by Lambert Varias
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I’m sure many of you still dream about owning the so-called “Ultimate FPS Simulator.” If you can wait for a few more months, you just might have one in your home, albeit at a smaller scale. A company called Virtuix is currently working on Omni, an omnidirectional treadmill controller for virtual environments.

omni-virtuix-treadmill

The Omni can sense not only when you’re running or walking but also when you’re jumping. It can also emulate crouching movements by bending over. The Omni will supposedly work with all PC games when it’s released, which is certainly a neat plus. Here’s a quick video showing how one moves about on the Omni:

Here’s the Omni being used with Skyrim, with the help of a Kinect for head targeting:

Finally, here’s the Omni with the year’s most anticipated gaming product, the Oculus Rift, comboing to present a new way to play Team Fortress 2:

You can see a couple more videos of the Omni in action on YouTube.

Keep in mind that the Omni isn’t a mechanical treadmill – it’s a passive walking surface on which you wear a pair of special low-friction shoes to walk.  The waist support in the middle is designed to keep you from falling over, of course. You can read more about how it works over on their FAQ.

Virtuix is planning to launch a Kickstarter fundraiser later this May or June. The retail price for the Omni may be between $400 to $600 (USD), which isn’t surprising considering what it can do. Mirror’s Edge is about to become a fitness video.

[via The Verge]

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