Virtuix is delighted to report that we started tooling this past month! Tooling is the process of fabricating the plastic injection molds that will produce the plastic parts of the Omni. This process is the most time consuming part of our production set-up and will take several months to complete. Please bear with us while we put together an accurate production schedule. We are not quite ready yet to announce when we will begin our initial shipments, as we are determined not to compromise quality by rushing the assembly. In the meantime, we thought you’d like to see a few images of our manufacturing facility in Zhuhai, China, that is capable of plastic injection molding of large plastic parts with a massive 1,800 ton press (other customers include Sony, Panasonic, and Canon). Below are some exterior and interior shots – enjoy!
Exterior factory grounds
Our mechanical engineer Kurt in front of the 1,800 ton press that will produce the Omni base
A smaller injection molding machine that will produce the smaller plastic Omni parts
TRAVR GAME DEVELOPMENT
Virtuix recognizes the importance of great content for the Omni and Full VR experiences that will keep you coming back for more. For many of you, your first Omni experience will be our TRAVR series, our Kickstarter stretch goal game that is included in your order. This has grown from a single demo game – Shadow Ops, into a series of VR FPS experiences. We want to make an unforgettable first impression, and so we are aiming to make the TRAVR series as polished and exciting as we can. Our most recent addition to TRAVR: Training Ops (expect a video showing our latest build soon) is the introduction of a local and online Leader Board that will allow you to enter your initials and compare your best time with other Omni users. Get ready to burn a whole lot of calories and battle your friends for the ultimate prize – becoming TRAVR’s most elite shadow-ops specialist!
Virtuix has found that TRAVR: Training Ops with the Omni brings out the real competitor in everyone who tries it, with the potential for turning gamers into lean, mean, fighting machines (or gentle athletes). We are very excited to be among those taking the first steps in redesigning the shooter experience for a new generation. We believe the FPS is a genre that will always appeal to gamers for its high intensity and adrenaline-pumping nature – it really makes you feel alive! As we move into this new era of Virtual Reality, we hope the Omni will ensure the FPS becomes a thriving part of the VR games industry thanks to our platform’s crucial ability to increase immersion and reduce simulator sickness during active VR sessions.
For those who prefer to use the Omni for other game genres and applications – no problem! Our hardware emulates a standard game controller, enabling plug-and-play compatibility across a large range of existing and future VR content.
Feel free to leave comments and feedback about this project in the following thread, where we may also occasionally post TRAVR related updates, content and polls: http://forum.virtuix.com/discussion/2392/travr-blog-and-discussion-official-thread
We look forward to your feedback!
GDC 2015 RECAP
The excitement surrounding VR brought a lot of attention to our booth at GDC earlier this month, where we showed our Gear VR integration with a demonstration of Dreadhalls.
There were some hilarious reactions, with at least one attendee unwilling to venture outside of the first room! Many thanks to Dreadhalls designer Sergio Hidalgo for coming by to try the experience for himself on the Omni. The Gear VR demos were very well received, and we look forward to finding new mobile VR experiences to share. Samsung has revealed an improved version of the Gear VR Innovator Edition and we can’t wait to try it. We hope the relationships we are fostering at these events will lead to more pioneering work and cooperation in this emerging industry.
VIVE AND LIGHTHOUSE
In one of the most exciting developments leading up to GDC, Valve and HTC revealed the Vive Headset and optical tracking technology ‘Lighthouse’, which will be released later this year.
Virtuix is thrilled by this development and delighted to see that Valve promotes standing and walking in VR, which underscores the value of the Omni in the VR eco-system. The Valve room offers an unparalleled level of presence, while the Omni can act as a central pillar for Active VR, enabling VR developers to design content that preserves all the action, speed, and intensity we gamers have grown up with and love. We are more excited than ever before to promote standing and walking in VR, and are thrilled to see this vision being shared by others in the VR gaming industry.
VR INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS
- Valve’s Vive is seen as a formidable competitor to the Oculus Rift and is coming out in November 2015.
- Sony’s Morpheus is receiving strong praise and will be released in early 2016.
- Samsung Gear VR heads to more than 100 Best Buys for in-store demonstrations and sale.
- Disney is considering recreating its theme parks for virtual reality.
- Steven Spielberg will direct a movie based on ‘Ready Player One’, the VR best-seller by Austin based author Ernest Cline in which the Omni plays a prominent role.
- Facebook is experimenting with a live VR video ‘Teleportation Station’, adding 360 VR video with Oculus Rift playback to Facebook.
Community, we hope you liked this update. It has been a long 20 months since you helped us raise over $1.1 million to bring natural locomotion to Virtual Reality, and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support as we work to deliver a product that meets your high expectations. Full VR is only a step away.
As always, please join our Forums for immediate updates and discussions: http://forum.virtuix.com
Jan and the Virtuix Team