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This 360-degree VR treadmill lets you physically run, jump, and crouch in video games

Avatar Written by Hamza Zakir · 1 min read>

The gaming experience just got a whole lot more immersive. Texan e-sports and VR startup Virtuix has developed the world’s first ever full-body controller and omni-directional virtual reality treadmill that will allow gamers to physically interact with their gaming worlds and navigate them.

A dream come true for gamers who are also fitness enthusiasts, the Omni One promises to revolutionize the gaming experience in its entirety. Imagine actually crouching behind walls while trying to shoot the enemy or ducking underneath barriers while on the run from a monster. Reminiscent of the kind of technology we saw in Steven Spielberg’s sci-fic flick Ready Player One, the Omni One has already received backing from major investors like billionaire Mark Cuban.

Let’s talk about the full-body controller for a bit though, because this is the high-tech apparatus that will allow you to run, jump, and crouch in place. As you can see from the image below, calling it a “treadmill” would be a massive understatement. It looks like the kind of thing you expect to find in a sci-fi show, and with its low-friction platform and harness that keeps the player in place, it actually belongs to a sci-fi world as well!

With the harness keeping you secure, you will be using Omni One’s special low-friction shoe covers on the platform to execute your moves physically, which will then be translated in the virtual reality system. The system is completed by a special headset that allows you to view the environment you are in. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, the system is also foldable, thereby allowing for portability.

So, what kind of games can you play here? The Omni One will come with a dedicated “game store” comprising of 30 titles, including those from third-party developers. In fact, some of those games are said to be very much like Fortnight and Call of Duty!

Virtuix initially planned to launch physical VR arcades, but the COVID-19 pandemic made location-based gaming more or less impossible. That might as well have been a blessing in disguise, because we now have a futuristic omni-directional platform that will enable us to interact with our games from the comfort of our homes.

You can watch the prototype video here.

Written by Hamza Zakir
Platonist. Humanist. Unusually edgy sometimes. Profile