A new home virtual reality treadmill could help turn your living room into a Holodeck, with the Virtuix Omni One offering a consumer version of the infinite-walk tech. Omni Pro made waves for its ability to unlock virtual environments for limitless exploration – regardless of the size of the room you’re in – thanks to its omni-directional treadmill system.
Whereas a traditional treadmill can go in one or at best two directions – forward and maybe backward – the Omni Pro’s dished deck is designed to work with specially slippery shoes. With the gamer strapped into a harness that supports their weight, their feet slide across the concave treadmill and that movement is translated into in-game movement.
It means you can run, walk, and generally roam around a VR world without worrying about bumping unceremoniously into a wall in your real environment. Omni Pro can now be found in more than 500 entertainment venues, Virtuix says, but with in-home gameplay – and consumer VR headsets – more popular than ever, the time is ripe for a version of the system you don’t need to leave the house for.
The result is the Omni One. It’s lighter and more compact, with a 4 foot diameter deck, and can be folded up for storage. However you still get the same experience, including the ability to crouch, kneel, and jump and have those movements recognized too. Omni One will come with a standalone VR headset that requires no PC or cabling, and will have 30 titles at launch, Virtuix says.
They’ll include third-party games the company plans to license, plus its own games similar to “Call of Duty” and “Fortnite” as well.
Omni One has a fairly distinctive look, with the dished deck below a suspended zip-up vest which holds the player in place. That’s height-adjustable for different sizes of gamer. Virtuix is comparing it to Peloton, in fact, and borrowing that same model of upfront equipment purchase and then recurring subscription revenue, billing Omni One as Peloton for VR gamers.
There’ll be a core Omni One kit, which will be $1,995 or $55 per month on a payment plan. It’ll come with the VR headset, while an “Omni Online” game subscription will be $14.95 per month. An Omni One “Dev Kit” will also be offered, at $995, and lack the VR headset and games. Virtuix says that’s targeted at virtual reality game developers but also those who want to use their own VR headset of choice.
Virtuix says it’s hoping to bring Omni One to market in the second half of 2021, and is offering a Reg A funding round – similar to a crowdfunding campaign, only for actual shares in the product – to raise the cash for that.