After a long process of design, prototyping, and re-design, we are presenting the production-level Omni at CES 2015 and believe you’ll be impressed with the result. The final Omni design consists of injection-molded parts, coated steel, and beautiful die-cast aluminum:
The Omni is designed for maximum comfort, long-term reliability and durability, and ease of use:
The final Omni harness is ergonomically optimized with a sleek design, allowing for quick rotation, jumping, and even sitting:
The Omni revolutionizes the VR gaming experience into a highly immersive battle between players fighting for virtual supremacy. Check out our new demo video of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare:
As a heads up, we are also developing an overhead boom for cable management to go with our final Omni design. More to follow about our Omni boom next month!
We are on track to start shipping the first Omni units this quarter. Once we are ready to ship your order, you will receive a link with instructions on how to register your shipping address and pay for shipping costs. We will also have pick-up events and locations, to be announced in the near future.
Omni POD Tracking
Virtuix has a surprise to reveal. Contrary to what we announced in Update #17 of November last year, the final Omni tracking will not use capacitive sensors. We moved away from capacitive tracking in early 2014 as we developed a tracking solution that has proven to be much more accurate, reliable, and cost-effective while possessing minimal latency. Virtuix is proud to introduce the Omni Position, Orientation, and Direction device, or Omni POD in short. The POD is an IMU-based tracking device integrated into each Omni shoe, wirelessly providing the Aggregator Board in the Omni with accurate orientation and tracking data for each foot at any given time throughout the user’s movement.
The POD not only accurately tracks forward motion in any direction, but also strafing and backwards walking or running at analog speeds, and even jumping. Latency is minimal and not noticeable by the user when starting, stopping, or accelerating. The movement of both feet are tracked at all times, so we can provide 1:1 step tracking and do not need to wait until a user’s foot hits the Omni base until we can detect that particular step (such an inherent algorithmic latency is the main drawback of capacitive tracking or any other tracking solution that is integrated in a treadmill’s base).
The biggest advantage: in its basic form the POD doesn’t require a dedicated SDK to work with existing games and VR content. Our firmware emulates a gamepad controller that works out-of-the-box with any first-person game that is VR-ready and suitable for locomotion.
Your Omni Package includes a pair of Omni PODs (two pairs are included in the Duel Package). For those who have ordered additional pairs of shoes, please note that extra shoes do not come with extra PODs. The PODs are easily detached from a pair of Omni shoes and transferred to another pair. In case you would like to order additional pairs of PODs, you can do so at our new online store.
The final Omni design is meant to be stunning and impressive. The final production cost, however, has increased compared to our initial estimates. As a result, we will increase our selling price on February 1, 2015, to $699. We are happy to note that our early pre-order customers have received a great deal and will be rewarded for their early support and belief in our project!
Virtuix raised an additional $2.7 million in investment funds in December from investors including Radical Investments, Scout Ventures, Scentan Ventures, Western Technology Investment, Tekton Ventures, 2020 Ventures, and private investors. Bringing hardware products to market and scaling operations is capital-intensive. The new funds will support our operations, fund working capital, and help us accelerate research and development around the full virtual reality experience. Our mission is to take VR beyond the chair, and these funds will help us accomplish that mission beyond our upcoming commercial launch.
Our full press release is available here.
CES 2015 and New Game Demo
Virtuix is showing and demonstrating production-level Omnis to media and attendees at CES in Las Vegas this week. If you will be at the show we’d love to meet with you! We are organizing a Get Together at our booth on Wednesday evening, January 7 at 5pm PT and you’re invited. In addition, we will be handing out Omni Passes each morning for attendees to try out the Omni in person that same day at a specified time (we’d rather avoid long lines, so we will give everyone a designated time slot). Visit us and try out the final Omni for yourself!
For CES we have developed a new game demo that will be available for free to all our customers: TRAVR: Training Ops. Training Ops is a first-person “speed shooter” that requires you to move swiftly and quickly through each level while you aim for targets and try to set a record time. The speed shooter genre is a blast on the Omni!
For those not at CES, we will be sure to showcase the Omni at some of the many VR meet-ups in the next few months!
Virtuix has come a long way since our Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2013. We hope you will be impressed with the final Omni design and accessories. Needless to say, we could not have gotten this far without your support. The future of VR is more exciting than ever. For those who appreciate an intriguing mystery, we seemingly received strange messages from the future from a certain Dr. Tristan Verstraeten (or Doc V in short). If you missed our previous update regarding this bizarre series of events, you can find all information thus far here. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more regarding this developing storyline.
As always, please join our Forums for immediate updates and discussions: http://forum.virtuix.com
Jan and the Virtuix team