"Omni" Treadmill Lets You Burn Calories While Gaming

"Omni" Treadmill Lets You Burn Calories While Gaming

Next time someone tells you to "get off the PC and exercise," you can retort, "But I am exercising!"

Sitting on the couch, or in front of your computer, for hours on end playing Skyrim and wolfing down cheetos is bad for your health. This is something that we, as gamers, have simply had to accept. Just like smokers or drinkers, our habit is slowly killing us. Until now. Virtuix has designed an omni-directional treadmill called the Omni, which allows users to walk in virtual environments such as Skyrim. The treadmill hooks up to a game system and converts movement from the player into keystrokes.

The video to the right demonstrates the Omni being used in Skyrim. You can see that the player's movements in real-life are directly translated to his actions on screen. An Xbox Kinect is used to track the player's head movements. In a game like Skyrim which features copious amounts of running from area to area, I'd imagine you would get quite a workout.

Another video shows the game being used in conjunction with Crysis: Warhead. As Crysis: Warhead was a PC-exclusive, we can assume that the device will be limited to the PC, at least initially. Virtuix CEO Jan Goetgeluk says that the Omni will fit in your living room, be affordable for your average consumer, and will allow users to walk effortlessly in a VR environment thanks to its special low-friction surface.

"The Omni's strongest part is that it has no electronics and no moving parts, which keeps the cost down," says Goetgeluk. "It has a low-friction surface with grooves, and comes with a pair of low-friction shoes that have a plunger pin at the bottom that fit in the surface grooves. As such, your foot is stabilized when walking, instead of sliding left and right as if you were walking on ice. The gait feels natural and effortless," he tells us.

Goetgeluk says that the Omni is still in an early prototype stage, and at this point the company is working on refining the design so the device can be folded up and packed away when not in use. He says that the Omni in its current form doesn't need an SDK, as it simply emulates keystrokes, but Virtuix is looking in to the possibly of de-coupling the user's looking direction from their walking direction and even gun aiming direction. "Then you have true virtual reality," Goetgeluk says.

Source: BabySoft MurderHands

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Bought damn time. Now make it so the supports can contract and extend for crouching and jumping, add a VR helmet, some motion controls, and a not unsubstantial list of supported games, then you've got a sale.

If I played Skyrim on this machine then I EXPECT to be at least a size 10 by the time I reach level 80.

This coupled with mirrors edge would absolutely destroy my supple body...

Fuck that, I do enough walking at work.

Game time is relax time.

Call me old fashioned but I thought down time wasn't supposed to be proactive.

If people actually use this, gamers will become superhuman in terms of stamina.
I, for one, welcome our new gamer overlords!

Yes please. I would so buy this, we try and walk in place while playing but it gets really awkward easily, so this would make me very very happy.

I can't be the only one who's immediate thought is to use this with the Oculus Rift

ORRRRR you could do what I do and just play Skyrim with your controller while you are on your treadmill in the basement. Might explain why I couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with my bow and arrow.

But, it has helped me lose nearly 30 lbs so far, because I can only game while on the treadmill!

I thought White walkers only existed North of the Wall.

carpathic:
ORRRRR you could do what I do and just play Skyrim with your controller while you are on your treadmill in the basement. Might explain why I couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with my bow and arrow.

But, it has helped me lose nearly 30 lbs so far, because I can only game while on the treadmill!

Excellent idea, much cheaper. Good for you, by the way.

There needs to be a blacksmith emulator or something to work muscle strength though.

Ah, this must be how Commander Shepard Plays Video Games. I want.

I get tired playing Wii games for more than 10 minutes, I don't want to have to run on a freaking treadmill to play a game.

The Sega Activator comes to mind....

Zombie_Moogle:
I can't be the only one who's immediate thought is to use this with the Oculus Rift

I was thinking of the Hlaf-Life 2 Rift demo that they used the Cabella's gun with for a full motion experience, that would be a whole lot of fun I think.

If they made this for Xbox or PS3 then count me in. God knows I need to lose weight.

awesome simply awesome...now add some force feedback and woo hoo! I would consider buying this.

Honestly this doesn't look practical or fun. Seems like a way to make your gaming less fun and not really be that much of an exercise.

I walk a lot, but I doubt that burns off a lot of calories. If this works for someone then great, but it seems like a waste of money. Kinda like most exercise machines I see advertised on TV.

So... How do you jump? I would be worried about breaking something.

HOLODECK! So close, but not quite yet!

This is excellent, even if it does look a little stupid.
You would also need some room in your living room, which I'm not sure I have.

Holy Crap ! This is awesome ! I always walk but i would gladly use it as some kind of "super immersive gaming device" I mean, i would only play it when there's nobody inside the house and i think i would have the feeling of not playing Skyrim but BEING IN Skyrim. I would just like to see an option where if you walk, you character walk but if you run (jogging) your character walk. It seems that on the video the guy just walks but the character runs but STILL, it's an awesome prototype so far.

Whenever I had thought to myself why VR games in the future might look like(when I was a kid, before I was aware of how well machine-brain interface and signals can replicate external stimuli) , I'd always envisioned something exactly like this-an omni directional treadmill. And now we have one.

And as soon as it

xXSnowyXx:
supports can contract and extend for crouching and jumping, add a VR helmet, some motion controls, and a not unsubstantial list of supported games,

I'd totally buy one.

Zombie_Moogle:
I can't be the only one who's immediate thought is to use this with the Oculus Rift

It looks like that's what he's doing -- or if not that specific headset, another one. If you look closely, he's wearing some sort of VR headset.

OT: So it looks like someone has made a 90's style VR setup with modern equipment. I always wondered why that stuff never took off, outside of costs. I know they were expensive, but you'd think the kind of places that have lasertag and mini golf would buy them, if no-one else would.

ccdohl:

carpathic:
ORRRRR you could do what I do and just play Skyrim with your controller while you are on your treadmill in the basement. Might explain why I couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with my bow and arrow.

But, it has helped me lose nearly 30 lbs so far, because I can only game while on the treadmill!

Excellent idea, much cheaper. Good for you, by the way.

There needs to be a blacksmith emulator or something to work muscle strength though.

It's called "do pushups non-stop until you're done with the menus". You move the stick and press buttons with your nose.

Oh, my poor arms...

Owyn_Merrilin:

Zombie_Moogle:
I can't be the only one who's immediate thought is to use this with the Oculus Rift

It looks like that's what he's doing -- or if not that specific headset, another one. If you look closely, he's wearing some sort of VR headset.

OT: So it looks like someone has made a 90's style VR setup with modern equipment. I always wondered why that stuff never took off, outside of costs. I know they were expensive, but you'd think the kind of places that have lasertag and mini golf would buy them, if no-one else would.

You inadvertently answered your own question by referring to it as "90's style"
Companies started to market the concept in the late 80's early 90's, and people were into the idea, but the technology just hadn't quite caught up to our ambition. We got the Virtual Boy, which was a start (not a great one, at that), but that was all we could really accomplish on a commercial scale. Even if you had an arcade or somewhere else that high costs would be worth it, the best we had for a while was that Beachhead game.
It wasn't just cost, so much as hardware capabilities

Sitting on the couch, or in front of your computer, for hours on end playing Skyrim and wolfing down cheetos is bad for your health. This is something that we, as gamers, have simply had to accept.

no, i refuse to accept that we need to eat cheetos for any reason whatsoever. you know, some gamers actually are physically active, stop being stuck in the fat nerd stereotype.

i already use treadmill watching movies so this is pointless.

That looks like a great space-saving basic treadmill (which it should totally be marketed as), but a terrible video gaming accessory. It also looks like those wheel-y deals you stick a baby in to teach him how to walk.

 

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