“The problem that hadn’t been solved in virtual reality was how do you move around in a virtual world and for that you need an omnidirectional treadmill: one that is affordable and compact and allows you to move effortlessly,” Goetgeluk says.
A longtime believer in the promise of virtual reality, Goetgeluk sunk his life savings into developing the Omni over a three year period. Last year, the Virtuix took its first outside cash in the form of a Kickstarter campaign which netted the Houston-based company $1.1 million from 3,000 backers. Those backers will be the first recipients of the Omni when it begins shipping later this year.
“The Kickstarter funds were used to develop the Omni and bring it to market,” says Goetgeluk. “These funds are designed to broaden the market. We’re gearing up for a commercial launch later this summer.”
The company is partnering with manufacturers in China to bring the Omni treadmill to market. In fact, Virtuix’s chief operating officer, David Allen, previously worked for manufacturers like Flextronics in China and spent 20 years in the country.
“We see a lot of demand and a lot of excitement about virtual reality,” Goetgeluk says. “There’s a variety of devices that will hit the market in the next twelve months.”
“We see virtual reality as a medium that will be used by millions of people,” he says. “To be able to walk around in a virtual world creates that feeling of presence. And we want to offer the full virtual reality experience.”
Photo via Flickr user Raghavendar TS