Run, Crouch and Jump in Virtual Reality Without Going Anywhere with Virtuix Omni
The challenge with Virtual Reality is that we are limited to sitting or restricted to small movements. Primarily because we can’t see where we are going and also due to being tethered to cables. Virtuix Omni have come up with a clever solution to the VR.
The Virtuix Omni is a unique multi-directional rig that enables you to be active in Virtual Reality. The support ring rig is designed with a concave low-friction base for walking. You put on their special shoes with sensors and low friction, and off you go. The design enables you have to have full 360 degree freedom of movement. At the same time you can control your actions of an avatar in a VR game without any form of constraints.
How the walking and running experience is made so real
There are a few key aspects that make the walking and running experience so effective. First, the Omni uses a concave, low-friction walking base. This provides you with a smooth and immersive experience for walking and running. A concave surface allows the user’s foot to slide back by gravity after each step, whereas a flat surface would require the user to physically move their feet backwards with their own force – which is strenuous and not part of a natural stride. According to Virtuix “A concave platform results in the most natural and smooth walking and running motion. The concave and soft surface of the Omni also reduces any impact on the joints from walking or running.”
Second, the Omni accessory shoes are a low-friction sole to enable free movement. The shoes also have Virtuix Omni Tracking Pods which provide tracking of foot movement. The combination provides a smooth 360 degree movement while also providing an integrated experience for VR gameplay.
Be un-tehered with the Support Ring
Rather than being connected to any cables, the Virtuix Omni provides you with a fully un-tethered experience. Although they say this is to keep costs down, its actually a lot better for the user experience too. They have designed the ring with safety bars to maximise safety whilst making it possible to move freely too. Effectively it is designed to prevent a person slipping and falling. The simple and clever design also means that assembly is easy, and getting in and out of the rig takes only a moment.
The freedom of movement is a huge bonus as it gives you both maximum versatility as well as freedom to move around in all directions, up, down sidesway, jumping etc. Effectively you can run, turn, stop and crouch in 360 degrees without any restraints or cables.
So how do you connect your VR Goggles?
Here is the part that makes the Virtuix Omni even more exciting. Wireless! Using a Bluetooth connection, you can connect to your PC or Smartphone (with goggles like a Samsung Gear VR or other). The great part is that you can also use SteamVR or Oculus Rift games as well. Naturally first-person perspective games are the best way to get the immersive experience. You can walk or move around in an environment as if you are really there for a fully immersive experience. So whether you want to use YouTube or some of the cool games in the market, there really isn’t any particular limit to what you can try out. Essentially you need to supply your own goggles to play. The Omni comes with integrated tracking hardware and software to recognize movements and translate them to steer an avatar in the virtual environment.
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