Virtuix Omni Hands-on: Walk across virtual worlds from the comfort of your living room

by Will Fulton | JANUARY 10, 2016

One of the toughest challenges facing VR is how to handle movement. While conventional control schemes like gamepads, or mouse and keyboard, work as well as ever, they do hinder the medium’s promise of total immersion in virtual worlds. And sitting in a chair while moving in-game makes some people sick quicker than downing a bottle of cheap scotch.

The HTC Vive solves this problem by letting you move within a space up to 15 by 15 feet. While this is certainly the most natural and immersive approach, it puts awkward limitations on designers to construct games that restrict motion within a limited area. Short of creating an environment with one-to-one correspondence between physical and virtual space, the only way to provide an unlimited range of motion is an omni-directional treadmill. The US Military has been developing these for training simulation purposes, but they’re expensive, complicated, and large.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Texas-based Virtuix has developed a far more elegant solution.

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