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Virtual Reality News

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    E3 is over for another year and it’s been fun! We’ve had a very marked focus on software not hardware for VR related products and that’s been reflected in our coverage. Again, Rev. Kyle is joined by Ben Lang to talk about the day’s events. In this final special they discuss Sixense and their newest… Read the full article …

    The post E3 2014: Rev VR Podcast E3 Day Three Round-up Special appeared first on Road to Virtual Reality.

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    Virtuix has just announced that it has secured $2.7M of investment as the commercial launch of its omni-directional treadmill, the Omni approaches. Time was at Road to VR that every other week we’d have a story on the Virtuix Omni, the omnidirectional treadmill that promises to capture your physical actions and use them to control VR applications and games. But the company has had its metaphorical head down as it finalises designs and prepares itself both for shipping units to Kickstarter backers but also release the product commercially. You could argue that the Virtuix team at one point were near Omnipresent (sorry!) at trade shows and VR meetups after their hugely successful Kickstarter campaign netted over $1.1M back in February 2013. In the time since the Kickstarter closed, the company has been at the forefront of the media as one of the earliest examples that the VR revolution was inbound. Virtuix Founder and CEO Jan Goetgeluk even appeared on national US TV when he pitched the Omni on the reality show Shark Tank. Now, the company has announced that it has secured $2.7M of funding to help push the Virtuix Omni forward into the commercial realm. “Virtuix’s mission is to take virtual reality beyond the chair,” said Virtuix CEO Jan Goetgeluk. “The Omni transforms VR into an active experience. These funds ensure that we can accelerate development of that mission beyond our upcoming commercial launch.” The company has already received $3M of seed investment, which it secured To date, the Omni has sold 3,500 units and expects to reveal the finalised product ahead of their Q1 2015 retail push at CES in January. Road to VR will be on the ground at CES next year to see it for ourselves.

    The post Virtuix Closes $2.7M Investment, Finalised Omni Design to be Revealed at CES 2015 appeared first on Road to VR.

    Video thumbnail for youtube video Here’s Your Chance to Win a Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill – Road To Virtual Realityvirtuix omni mark cuban shark tank investment funding ventureVideo thumbnail for youtube video Here’s Your Chance to Win a Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill – Road To Virtual Realityvirtuix omni mark cuban shark tank investment funding venture

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    Another year, another Internaional CES. But as the rapid growth of the VR industry shows no signs of abating, we look at the signs that mean 2015 will be the year VR heads to people’s homes. The advent of another trade show in the tech industry stands as a useful opportunity to take a look at what’s happened since the last one. A chance to look back and take stock of how far things have come. VR is moving fast, and as Ferris Bueller once said, “..if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” As I wrote last year’s introduction to CES, towards the end of 2013, enthusiasts and developers were now well acquainted with their Oculus Rift DK1 headsets after thousands of units were shipped out from Oculus’ original Kickstarter. The Virtuix Omni and Cyberith Virtualiser appeared and went about carving out the VR locomotion industry, whilst Sixense and Tactical Haptics attacked the hard problems of VR input head on. 2013 had already been a spectacular year for virtual reality, arguably the best ever. The technology had created enormous buzz which transcended the usual tech news channels, with Oculus Rift reaction videos going viral and mainstream media willing to take seat on the Oculus Rift bandwagon. VR it seemed was reborn, it was maturing quickly and had given us a hell of a ride in 2013, but this was just the beginning. We predicted that 2014 would be ‘The Year of VR’, as we prepared to attend our first ever CES on behalf of Road to VR. As predictions go, it was pretty vague. However, as we close in for next months CES 2015, there’s no doubt that 2014 has exceeded all expectations. Oculus kicked off the year by unveiling their Crystal Cove prototype, which effectively solved motion blur and positional tracking in one fell swoop, making the Rift more comfortable and immersive than ever. This would later evolve to launch as the ‘DK2′, their second development kit  at GDC 2014. At the same show, Sony announced Project Morpheus; later in the year Samsung announced and launched Gear VR, and Magic Leap… said very little but got people jolly excited. See Also: Samsung Gear VR Detailed Review: Part One – Design Comparison to Oculus Rift DK2 Samsung Gear VR Detailed Review: Part Two – Experience, Gameplay Videos, and More However, it was Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus for a cool $2Bn that provided the final kick that VR needed to achieve launch velocity. Freed from financial constraints, Oculus went on to host ‘Connect’, their own developer conference, where they demonstrated just how far they’d come by stunning attendees with the Crescent Bay prototype, bringing the company closer than ever to a consumer ready headset they could unleash on the world. The one thing missing from 2014? Any clue when we could all finally look forward to seeing the consumer Oculus Rift in stores to buy. When would we see CV1? CES 2015 – Consumer VR Arrives It was to be Samsung (admittedly ‘powered by Oculus’) who beat them to the punch for first consumer-ready VR headset. Despite the ‘Innovator Edition’ on the Note 4 powered Gear VR, in contrast to Oculus’ currently obtainable headset, the DK2, it offers the first glimpse at a polished, retail, VR experience. It would be disingenuous to say then that Oculus and Sony are playing catch-up however. In fact, the old dividing lines of console versus PC gaming can be drawn for Morpheus and CV1, with Gear VR representing mobile. The three headsets, despite being designed to accomplish largely the same thing, are actually aimed at different groups of people. Nevertheless, Sony and Oculus are expected to launch their first retail devices in 2015 (‘expected’ of course doesn’t mean ‘confirmed’). Despite Oculus’ apparent head start in the race for retail VR and their latest spectacular ‘Crescent Bay’ prototype, they’ve been reticent to launch before they’re good and ready. With Crescent Bay proving their headset technology is ‘there’, user input in VR remains as a largely unsolved paradigm. Oculus’ recent acquisition of Nimble VR, a company specialising in hand and finger tracking for VR input, may mean they have a solution—one we may hear more about when we catch up with them at CES. Sony meanwhile have the excellent PlayStation Move controllers out in the world ready to go, having been launched years ago during the previous generation of console hardware. Whether they have the finesse required for truly immersive virtual reality experiences is as yet unknown. It may well be a moot point however if Sony pitch Morpheus as offering an ‘immersion lite’ experience, something that would make a lot of sense given the host platform’s (the Playstation 4) lack of grunt compared with today’s gaming PCs. Given Morpheus’ already high levels of hardware polish evident at showings all year, it feels like the right time for Sony to make a big announcement for a retail launch in 2015. Meanwhile, those 2013 Kickstarters are now close or ready to deliver their solutions to the VR input problem. With Sixense shipping its first early ‘STEM’ devices to backers recently and Virtuix primed to unveil their retail-ready ‘Omni’ to the public at CES, there is suddenly no shortage of companies vying for attention in this space. Control VR made quite a splash earlier in the year with their confident pitch and community demos; they’ve been quiet for a while now so hopefully we’ll have a chance to catch up with them at the show. We’ll be seeing the latest from Technical Illusions and their CastAR system, which recently also began shipping to backers. With any luck we’ll be able to catch up with Avegant to see what they’ve been up to since we last tried their ‘Glyph’ prototype at CES 2014. Industry stalwart Vuzix will be present showing off their latest lines of AR and VR hardware and of course, we’ll do our best to hunt down the mysterious 3DHead and shed some light on what they’re all about.   CES 2015, which runs from January 6th to 9th in Las Vegas, promises to be the best ever for VR and there might just be some awesome surprises in store. Road to VR will be on the ground all week to make sure you’re in the know. If you’d like to arrange a meeting with us, please reach out to

    The post CES 2015 Marks the Arrival of Consumer VR – Road to VR Will be There! appeared first on Road to VR.

    CES3dominic-cyberith-virtualiser1ces 2014 oculus rift crystal cove prototype interview palmer luckey nate mitchell low persistence positional trackingsamsung gear vr and note 4sony-ps4-virtual-reality-project-morpheus-hands-on-gdc-2014sixense-stem-virtual-reality-motion-controller-2jeri ellsworth rick johnson castar interview ces 2014CES3dominic-cyberith-virtualiser1ces 2014 oculus rift crystal cove prototype interview palmer luckey nate mitchell low persistence positional trackingsamsung gear vr and note 4sony-ps4-virtual-reality-project-morpheus-hands-on-gdc-2014sixense-stem-virtual-reality-motion-controller-2jeri ellsworth rick johnson castar interview ces 2014

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    From the get-go, the Virtuix Omni VR treadmill was designed to be both adjustable and collapsible, allowing it to work for users of different heights and be stowed away out of sight. For the first time at CES 2015, Virtuix showed off the production version of the Omni and how easy it is for a single user to get up and running. See Also: Virtuix CEO Talks Production-ready Omni, Shipping Expected in March (video) We’ve been following the Virtuix Omni since its highly successful Kickstarter raised more than seven times its goal back in July, 2013. Since then we’d seen the prototype on numerous occasions. The prototype, however, was set to a single height, so we were never able to see the height-adjustment function for ourselves. At CES 2015, the company revealed their production unit and showed us how easy it is to step into the VR treadmill and get ready to run. Starting by connecting the foot tracking pods to the shoes, users step into the Omni, close the ring opening, and fit the harness with a single waist buckle and two straps around the legs. With your feet, you can easily unhook two levers that lock the Omni’s waist ring into place. From there, some sturdy metal handles on the ring allow you to raise or lower the apparatus. Once you’re happy, line up the holes and press the foot levers to lock it into place. The height settings are numbered, making it easy to remember which one suits you best. I got to test the production Omni for myself at CES 2015; being able to select a suitable height made for a more comfortable experience than when I’d tried the fixed-height prototype in the past. The new harness is also more padded and comfortable. A full hands-on article from my time sprinting around in VR with the Virtuix Omni is coming soon.

    The post Virtuix Demonstrates Self-adjustment Capabilities of Omni VR Treadmill (video) appeared first on Road to VR.

    virtuix omni vr treadmill heigh adjustment ces 2015 (2)virtuix omni vr treadmill heigh adjustment ces 2015 (1)virtuix omni vr treadmill heigh adjustment ces 2015 (2)virtuix omni vr treadmill heigh adjustment ces 2015 (1)

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    I’ve been fortunate to try the Virtuix Omni VR treadmill several times over the course of its development. At every point though, I was testing some variation of the original prototype seen in the company’s highly successful Kickstarter campaign. That is until now—at CES 2015, Virtuix revealed the production version of the Omni, and I got to take it for a stroll (and sprint). Listen to this story (experimental):  The concept of the omnidirectional treadmill (let’s call it a VR treadmill for short) has been around for a long time. Most prototypes of such devices were huge, heavy, expensive, and complicated. However, with the recent push toward consumer virtual reality, demand rose for affordable and practical in-home VR treadmills. So devices like the Virtuix Omni, Cyberith Virtualizer, and the Wizdish floated to the top. All three devices make use of a passive walking component which serves to make them cheaper, more reliable, and more practically sized than their active brethren. At CES 2015, Virtuix revealed the production-ready version of the Omni treadmill. Upgrades from the prior prototype include a safety ring with adjustable height, a more comfortable and ergonomic harness, and IMU-based tracking pods which affix to the user’s shoes (previously the Omni employed capacitive tracking)—and the VR treadmill is now more easily collapsible for stowing away. The adjustable height of the Omni is probably the biggest improvement over the prototype. Fitting the device properly makes it much more comfortable to use and in my testing felt like it resulted in a more natural gait. Virtuix designed the adjustment abilities of the device smartly so that you can do everything from within the VR treadmill itself. After stepping in and buckling up the harness, you can use your feet to unhook the locks that hold the safety ring in place. With the handles on the sides, you can raise or lower the spring-balanced ring to match your height. See Also: Virtuix Demonstrates Self-adjustment Capabilities of Omni VR Treadmill (video) Virtuix says that the Omni’s curved surface was designed to simulate a natural stride. I’m not well read in the field of gait analysis by any stretch of the imagination, but in my experience with the production Omni, forward movement feels like a very good analogue to the real deal. Walking and running forward feel very natural, especially once you’ve got the Omni adjusted to the proper height. There’s a bit of a learning curve as you first understand how to ‘run into’ the ring around your waist, but after a few minutes of  walking, I would think that most would be ready to don a VR headset and take a virtual stroll Turning in the Omni works, but it doesn’t feel terribly natural, at least not while running. Broad turns are fine, but cutting sharp corners or quickly turning 180 degrees can be an awkward affair. It’s not that it can’t be done well enough, it just won’t feel like you’re used to in the real world. Turning sharply while running ends up feeling like you’re on rollerblades more than shoes, but thanks to the safety ring, you can just kind of deal with it. At CES 2015, after I got hooked into the Omni, I donned the Oculus Rift DK2 headset (which had a suspended cable so I didn’t get wrapped up) and was handed a Bluetooth gun. The gun functioned as a simple controller for shooting and reloading, but aiming is still done with your head. It’s expected that down the road there will be experiences that allow independent head movement and weapon aiming (something I’m really looking forward to), but at this point, it’s a BYOMC (bring your own motion controller {and supported game}) deal. The experience I played using the Omni was a first-party demo title which had me sprinting around and speed shooting targets as I moved from one room to the next. The goal was to hit all the targets and complete the course as fast as possible. One of the things that most excites me about VR treadmills like the Omni is the ability to bring physicality to gaming. By the end of my first run, I was compelled to try again to beat my time. Not only did I pull it off, but I had a lot of fun working up a good sweat. The speed shooting demo does a decent job of designing for the Omni’s strengths, with long rooms to sprint through and little need to turn completely around on a dime. At first I would run into a room and stop in place to shoot targets, but as I got the hang of it, I begun to run-and-gun, which was really fun when pulled off successfully—after using the Omni people may finally realize the absurdity of an FPS character running at 20 MPH while pulling off headshots with a sniper rifle! The newly IMU-based foot tracking (achieved with wireless sensor pods that clip onto the Omni’s special shoes) made the virtual walking feel more responsive than at any point in the Omni’s past. At CES the company was demonstrating analogue speed for the first time (the faster you run in real life, the faster you move virtually), which really motivated me to get my move on when I was trying to beat my previous record. The delay between moving in real life and in the game felt ok, but stopping was a more sluggish affair. Occasionally I would overshoot a target that popped up right as I was about to pass. Currently, with no ability to walk backward, that meant I had to turn completely around, walk a few steps, then turn around again to reface the target. When I brought up that delay between stopping in real life and stopping in the game, Virtuix CEO Jan Goetgeluk pointed out the meaty antennas the company had installed in an effort to best pick up the signal from the IMU pods (indeed, CES is a nightmare scenario for wireless technologies). Interference may have contributed to the delay I felt, so I’m reserving judgement there until I have a chance to test in a more controlled scenario. Backward walking functionality should come in time, and I can only imagine that Virtuix will continue tweaking the foot tracking software. Jumping was also not something I tried as the speed shooting demo didn’t have any gaps to leap across, though I am very curious to find out how well it will work. Undoubtedly, the Omni is going to work best with games that are custom made for it. The speed shooting demo I tried was definitely fun on the surface, but it’ll be interesting to see if developers can dream up games that offer depth and genuine replayability for more than just exercise—though something as simple as a version of Temple Run, where you really have to run (and jump!), would probably be a blast on the Omni. Virtuix currently offers the Omni for pre-order for $499, but says the price is due to go up to go up. “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,” the company shared in a recent update to their Kickstarter campaign. They expect to ship the first Omni units this quarter.

    The post Preview: Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill Production Model (video) appeared first on Road to VR.

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    What do you get when you piece together a Virtuix Omni VR treadmill, a DK2, and (with help from vorpX) a AAA title like GTA V? Madness. Pure madness. Stealing a car is wrong. Shooting innocent bystanders in the face, now that’s downright egregious. But in the beautifully realistic Grand Theft Auto V, a title that just released for PC last week, you can now get away with all the virtual crimes your evil little heart desires—and with the help of a VR treadmill and vorpX, a suite of 3D drivers for Oculus Rift that lets you play previously unsupported titles, you can do your dastardly deeds running around in VR. Buy VorpX and Support Road to VR The Virtuix Omni (the VR treadmill in the video) has yet to ship (although will do soon) , the company is giddy to show off the potential of the device for when the market gears up to support VR natively. They’ve also shown their VR treadmill working with Battlefield 4, Minecraft, and with the Gear VR version of Dreadhalls. See Also: Play GTA V in Virtual Reality with the Latest VorpX Release, Out Now Full disclosure: Road to VR has an affiliate agreement with vorpX.

    The post Running Amok in GTA V with an Oculus Rift, a Virtuix Omni and VorpX appeared first on Road to VR.

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    As developers continue to experiment with a range of VR navigation techniques, Virtuix’s Omni treadmill gives gamers a way to physically walk and run around virtual worlds in an otherwise limited space. The company’s latest developments bring compatibility with the HTC Vive and its Lighthouse tracking tech, enabling ‘decoupled’ manipulation of walking, looking, and aiming. I’ve been lucky enough to try the Virtuix Omni treadmill at several stages along its development, but I’ve yet to be able to experience the holy grail of a fully decoupled experience that’s now enabled with the HTC Vive. In my prior engagements with Omni prototypes, the direction you looked was also the direction you ran. That means you couldn’t run forward while looking to the left or right, for instance. The gun prop was also just a glorified controller, as the weapon was untracked and your reticle was attached to the center of your view. See Also: Preview – Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill Production Model (video) Now as the company readies the first shipments of the Omni, they’re showing off what’s been their ultimate vision for the VR treadmill all along: fully decoupled motion. Utilizing the HTC Vive with its 360 degree Lighthouse tracking, that means independent control over walking, looking, and aiming. Now if you wanted to, say, run backwards while looking to the side with your arms outstretched in either direction, you totally can. And that means it’s time for me to start begging people to make an Equilibrium (2002) game so that I can pretend I’m doing this. Virtuix is also showing off a new version of their in-house title TRAVR Training Ops, which is built from the ground up for the Omni’s fully decoupled locomotion. The game is set up like a time trials arena, leader board and all. As you dash through each room, targets pop up all around you which you can shoot with either of your dual pistols, and there’s even some threats to dodge. When you run faster in the Omni, you actually move faster in the game, which means that topping the leaderboards is going to be as much about fitness as it is about aiming. Speedrunning is about to take on a whole new meaning. See Also: Billionaire ‘Shark Tank’ Investor Mark Cuban Flip-flops on Virtuix Omni, Joins $3 Million Investment And therein lies something that’s had me excited about VR from the very beginning: aligning the emotional action of gaming with corresponding psychical action. Virtuix calls this sort of full body gameplay ‘Active VR’. I always go back to an example that I know well, the last moments of an epic game of Capture the Flag (for me, that would be in Halo, but pick your favorite game and imagine along with me). It’s 2-2 in a match to three. Each team has the opposing team’s flag and now it’s a race to see who can capture it first for the win. The adrenaline is pumping and everyone is on the edge of their seat, playing their best to try to secure victory. But in contemporary gaming, all of this intense action is happening in your head and on the screen, but physically speaking, you’re twiddling your thumbs. How much more amazing would it be to be physically running that flag, knowing that the harder you run the faster you’ll get that flag back to base. Giving every last ounce of your effort—emotional and physical—for the sake of your team. People who play sports at a competitive level know this duality of emotion and physicality well—for many, it’s what drives them to play sports in the first place. Soon the doors will be open for it to be part of gaming too. Not only is having your whole body involved in the action more natural, it’s also more immersive and could very well reverse the cliché of the unfit gamer. For Virtuix’s part, the Omni is finally approaching the light at the end of a tunnel which started way back during the company’s 2013 Kickstarter which raised more than $1 million to get the VR treadmill into production. Now the very first units are set to ship starting in December, with a wider rollout in 2016. In the mean time the Omni is available for pre-order for $699.

    The post Virtuix Omni with HTC Vive & Lighthouse Enables Fully Decoupled Locomotion appeared first on Road to VR.

    virtuix omni vr treadmill heigh adjustment ces 2015 (1)virtuix omni hands on production model ces 2015 (2)virtuix-omni-production-model-rendervirtuix omni vr treadmill heigh adjustment ces 2015 (1)virtuix omni hands on production model ces 2015 (2)virtuix-omni-production-model-render

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    In accordance with newly eased investment regulations brought forth by the United States’ JOBS Act, Virtuix is “testing the waters” for crowdfunded equity investment. The Virtuix Omni VR treadmill began as a Kickstarter success after raising more than $1 million through the crowdfunding platform back in July. Kickstarter allows companies to gather funds from supporters in exchange for products or services, but actually buying equity through the platform has been restricted due to financial regulations. In total, Virtuix has raised more than $9 million through additional investment rounds, but only a select few could legally participate in those follow-on equity investments due to investing regulations in the U.S. which have just recently been eased thanks to the ‘JOBS Act’. “Historically, the general public was required to be accredited with the Securities and Exchange Commission in order to invest in private companies. These conditions were based on income and net worth and denied all but the wealthiest 2% of Americans an opportunity to invest. With the new regulation under Title IV of the JOBS Act, the opportunity to invest in private tech startups is now extended to everyone,” Virtuix writes in a press release. “Each week we receive requests from supporters who want to participate in the financial future of our company and, because of regulation, we’ve had to turn them away. It felt counter to our company’s culture,” says Jan Goetgeluk, Founder and CEO of Virtuix. “Now, with Regulation A [of the JOBS Act], our customers and supporters may have a chance to buy shares in Virtuix alongside Silicon Valley venture capitalists and global institutional investors.” Virtuix is taking to SeedInvest, an equity crowdfunding platform taking advantage of the newly eased investment regulations. Virtuix is in what SeedInvest calls a “testing-the-waters” phase, which allows potential investors to indicate non-binding interest in investing in the company. Should that prove fruitful, the VR treadmill company will open the doors to raising a ‘Mini IPO’ through the platform. See Also: Billionaire ‘Shark Tank’ Investor Mark Cuban Flip-flops on Virtuix Omni, Joins $3 Million Investment Virtuix says they have 31 employees and have sold 4,000 Omnis to date, with the unit currently retailing at $699. The first Omni was delivered at the end of 2015 and more units will ship from the Kickstarter and beyond in 2016.

    The post Virtuix Exploring Crowdfunded Equity Investment Under US ‘JOBS Act’ appeared first on Road to VR.

    virtuix omni vr treadmill heigh adjustment ces 2015 (3)virtuix omni vr treadmill heigh adjustment ces 2015 (3)

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    Virtuix are back at CES once again, and this time they’re getting all competitive as they prepare to hold they’re first multiplayer VR eSports tournament using the Omni VR treadmill, in their new made-for-Omni title, Omni Arena. Virtuix have spent 2015 ramping up production and shipping of their ‘Pathfinder’ edition Kickstarter backer and pre-order financed Omnidirectional treadmills. This year, as well as bringing four Omni treadmills with them for us at the show, they’re planning to hold what the company is calling the first VR eSports tournament, to take place on the show floor inside their latest made-for-VR-and-Omni title Omni Arena. The title is a brightly coloured, VR-enabled first person shooter sporting two game modes at CES. Co-Op mode, two players work together to defend a central core that is attacked by a series of enemies. Whilst in “Hard Point”, players compete to achieve the highest score by defending a hard point in the Arena while trying to shoot each other. Virtuix are official HTC partners at CES 2016 and will be demonstrating the latest Vive developer kit ‘Pre’ on the show floor. Although it’s not clear if the eSports tournament will use Vive’s exclusively. See Also: HTC Reveals ‘Vive Pre’ Development Kit at CES Road to VR will be going hands-on with the new Omni Arena on the CES show floor soon. Check back for our impressions.

    The post Virtuix to Hold eSports ‘Omni Arena’ Tournament at CES appeared first on Road to VR.

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    Virtuix, the company specialising in omni-directional locomotion solutions for VR, was back at CES 2016 and they brought with them 4 Omnis, 4 HTC Vive Pre headsets all hooked up to their new, multiplayer ‘built for Omni’ eSports game, ‘Omni Arena’. Virtuix’s presence at CES has grown impressively over the years and this year was no exception. Their sizable stand this year sported no less than four Virtuix Omni’s in each corner, each with a brand new HTC Vive Pre headset for players to try. Why? To demonstrate virtual reality, multiplayer eSports using their locomotion solution. To this end, Virtuix had the above gear wired up to their new, multiplayer online shooter Omni Arena. It was an opportunity for Road to VR‘s Executive Editor Ben Lang to once again get his feet on with the Kickstarted VR input device – this time, with the added bonus of also donning the new HTC Vive Pre headset – impressions of which you can find here. Of the various passive VR treadmills I’ve tried, the Virtuix Omni has the most natural gait. I feel very comfortable walking, running, and even sprinting forward in the unit. Turning also works, but it’s quite a bit less natural, equally so, I suspect, on all passive (low-friction) VR treadmills. Imagine you are making a slow, wide turn to the left while walking on normal ground. You achieve this by placing one foot in front of the next, and with each step you plant, your foot is slightly turned to the left. When you lift up your back foot, your body pivots ever so slightly around your planted foot until the planted foot is once again facing forward instead of left. As you bring your next foot down, it is planted slightly to the left, and the cycle repeats. You are making a small pivot at each step, which adds up to your wide turn. This all requires friction such that your planted foot stays where it is (and in the direction it is facing) while your body makes that slight pivot. In a passive VR treadmill like the Omni, there’s very little friction under foot, and thus this action of turning feels more like walking on ice than on ground. That’s not to say it can’t be done — nor to say that you can’t get used to it or good at it — only that isn’t not as intuitive or natural as walking or running forward in the Omni. Otherwise, the Omni works quite well, especially adjusted to the right height. The bowl shape lends itself to a natural walking or running gait. The belt is now very easy to put on, with one strap around the waist and two buckles that go under your legs like a climbing harness. Not counting slipping on the shoes, it probably doesn’t take more than a minute or two to get ready to play with the Omni. The belt and the safety ring feel extremely sturdy and there’s no doubt that the Omni is going to keep you held upright, which is really important because you want to lose yourself in VR and you need to feel safe for that to happen. Virtuix are hard at work shipping their initial batches of ‘Pathfinder’ Omni treadmills as I write this. The company also recently embarked on an equity crowdfunding round, thanks to recent legislation changed to the US JOBS act which now allows to invest in tech startups.

    The post Hands On: Multiplayer VR eSports with the Virtuix Omni appeared first on Road to VR.

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    One of the defining features of Minecraft is its procedurally-generated landscape which creates unique and effectively infinite maps for players to explore. Now, with Minecraft on Gear VR and the Virtuix Omni VR treadmill, you can walk that infinite landscape on foot. While Minecraft has been available in VR through a third-party mod for some time now, the only way to get the official (and latest version) running in virtual reality is through the newly released Minecraft on Gear VR. With the game running on Gear VR, players can have a completely mobile experience, not needing to tether the headset to a PC. That’s particularly useful for the Virtuix Omni because it means no wires to deal with while using the VR treadmill. The Omni supports Minecraft ‘automatically’ through a pretty neat function: Bluetooth gamepad emulation. Yes indeed, the large VR treadmill presents itself to Gear VR as a humble bluetooth gamepad, allowing it to feed the same inputs that a controller would into the headset. The result of course is the ability to physically stroll through Minecraft’s effectively endless—and often, surprisingly beautiful—virtual worlds.

    The post Virtuix Omni Lets You Stroll Through Minecraft’s Endless Worlds on Gear VR appeared first on Road to VR.

    John Carmack, CTO at Oculus – #3John Carmack, CTO at Oculus – #3

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    Virtuix, the creators of the Virtuix Omni treadmill, posted an update to customers yesterday stating that they won’t be fulfilling pre-orders to customers outside the United States. According to the company, trying to ship the 80kg (175 lbs) square meter box the Omni comes in to non-U.S. customers “has proven naive and unfeasible.” Originally launched in 2013, the […]

    The post Virtuix Cancels International Pre-Orders for Omni VR Treadmill appeared first on Road to VR.

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    Popular VR title Arizona Sunshine and two others are soon to get native support for the Virtuix Omni VR treadmill. Virtuix has also announced that the company has become a “formal hardware partner of HTC.” Arizona Sunshine [our review] is one of SteamVR’s top rated games, and soon it’ll be compatible with the Virtuix Omni, a VR […]

    The post Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill to Get ‘Arizona Sunshine’ Support, Partners with HTC appeared first on Road to VR.

    Photo courtesy VirtuixPhoto courtesy Virtuix

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