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Omni Treadmill sprints past Kickstarter goal in 4 hours; immersive VR now one step closer


Along with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, the other piece of immersive gaming technology to have been making the headlines this year has been the Omni Treadmill. The machine translates real world movement – like walking, running, and crouching – into game movement. With the Omni, you can go for a walk in Skyrim, a sprint in Battlefield, or a crawl in Thief.

Till now only a few people have been able to get access to the technology but earlier today developer Virtuix launched a Kickstarter campaign to develop a commercial version of the treadmill.

It was funded in just four hours.

See it at work in the developer’s pitch video:

Having the treadmill set up with an Oculus Rift and light gun is ridiculously cool. I’ve only had a brief try of the Oculus Rift headset but the effect that had on experiencing games was a breathtaking. If my body’s movement were to be reflected, even partially, in a game world which I was seeing through an Oculus I can imagine it could be a tad immersive.

The Kickstarter campaign was to raise enough funds to put the Omni Treadmill through its factory phase. Currently the Omni prototype has been completed and thoroughly tested, though the setup costs of producing these machines en masse are far from small. Virtuix sought $150,000 through Kickstarter to pay the factory costs of manufacturing their first batch of treadmills. So far they’ve already raised more than $500,000.

Following the completion of the campaign, which will end on 22 July, Virtuix plan to begin shipping the treadmills in January next year.

If you’re interested in buying an Omni – hell, at this point I’m tempted to reach for my wallet – then you can back a DIY omni for $299. After that, most of the cheaper skews have sold out of their limited run; you’ll be looking at at least $399, though that one requires no DIY.

Check out the Omni Treadmill’s campaign page over here.