VR Omni-Directional Treadmill Lets Players Run and Gun

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VR Omni-Directional Treadmill Lets Players Run and Gun

Between the Virtuix Omni prototype and Oculus Rift, dodging rockets in Team Fortress 2 is more heart-pumping then ever.

The Oculus Rift is an impressive piece of technology, and it's easy to understand why enthusiasts are enamored with it. It's arguably one of the most immersive gaming VR headsets we've seen in years, and avoids many of the design pitfalls noted in other models. That all said, if you're only using the Rift headset, it still won't feel like you're on Star Trek's holodeck just yet. If you really want that full-motion experience, and can handle the potential nausea, what you'll need is a gaming rig that lets you walk around as well. Enter the Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill, an omni-directional treadmill that allows movement in any direction and, when used with games like Team Fortress 2, could make digital environments physically and mentally immersive.

The attached video gives a pretty good idea of how the system works. Players needs three elements: An Oculus Rift, a Virtuix Treadmill, and a rifle-based controller. With the Rift providing visuals, the treadmill translates movements into in-game actions while the player remains fixed in a single location (which is important, so you don't trip over your couch or loved ones). The entire setup lets you aim, walk, run, and even strafe, all while dodging bullets and dishing out damage. "The action feels like real running," says Virtuix CEO Jan Goetgeluk. "The immersion is intense. I had a former Marine try HL2 yesterday, and he was slightly shaking."

Naturally, this particular configuration has some downsides. Your in-game movement speed is set by Team Fortress 2, not real-life running, so a certain disconnect is to be expected. That's not even bringing up the jarring sensation you'd feel when rocket-jumps send you flying while your actual feet are on the ground. Still, the fact that it's functioning at all is very promising for the technology, and if you're an enthusiast who won't be happy until holodecks are a reality, perhaps you won't have as long to wait as we thought.

Source: Road to VR, via Eurogamer

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Well I've always wanted legitimate PTSD, so hooray!

That + kinect so I can shout when I need a dispenser here and a wii mote for backstabing and I'd have so much fun.

Am I the only one who came up with this in his head at the age of about nine and has spent the years since wondering if it could be done if only I posessed the technical know-how?

Thought as much. Well It's certainly nice to see my childhood dreams come true, the limiting factor in 'VR' interfaces has always been physical feedback and this would go a long way towards fixing that.

Now I just need to wait for so-called haptic-adaptive controll panels and my sci-fi dreams will be complete reality!

socialmenace42:
Am I the only one who came up with this in his head at the age of about nine and has spent the years since wondering if it could be done if only I posessed the technical know-how?

Thought as much. Well It's certainly nice to see my childhood dreams come true, the limiting factor in 'VR' interfaces has always been physical feedback and this would go a long way towards fixing that.

Now I just need to wait for so-called haptic-adaptive controll panels and my sci-fi dreams will be complete reality!

I came up with the idea more along the lines of Minority Report's Dreamweaver technology.

OT:I wouldn't buy this for two reasons, one I use one eye at a time so the Rift wouldn't work right for me at all. Two, I'm fucking lazy as shit, why would I want to run everywhere?!

Well thats certainly an overkill manner in which to play TF2...

When can i get mine?

I just got scared of how rocket jumping is going to be now. We shall all die.

OT: I want this. I really do.

socialmenace42:
Am I the only one who came up with this in his head at the age of about nine and has spent the years since wondering if it could be done if only I posessed the technical know-how?

Thought as much. Well It's certainly nice to see my childhood dreams come true, the limiting factor in 'VR' interfaces has always been physical feedback and this would go a long way towards fixing that.

Now I just need to wait for so-called haptic-adaptive controll panels and my sci-fi dreams will be complete reality!

I always thought about it myself, but thought it wasn't practical. I was so wrong.

Now its going to be easy to identify gamers

Looks cool but very impratical, it really looks like something that I would only use from time to time because I bet that while the experience is very diferent from the usual stuff just the thought of setting it up and then having to run around isnt exactly what I usually have in mind when I want to play a game.

Basicly if I was really rich and had nothing better to do with my life and money I would buy it to try out, other then that Im not really seeing it do it for me.

The Oculus Rift will be enough of a different experience for me.

josemlopes:
Now its going to be easy to identify gamers

Yes but what is going to happen to high school cliques when gamers become the jocks? With their superior hand eye coordination, and amazing stamina and reaction times?

Haven't we already seen this setup? With skyrim or something?
Reported here on the escapist, the focus may have been on a different element but i'm sure i've already seen it.

synobal:

josemlopes:
Now its going to be easy to identify gamers

Yes but what is going to happen to high school cliques when gamers become the jocks? With their superior hand eye coordination, and amazing stamina and reaction times?

Oh dont worry, from the waist up we will still lack any sort of strength but we will have terrific asses, maybe that will be enough to change school as we know it. Maybe...

socialmenace42:
Am I the only one who came up with this in his head at the age of about nine and has spent the years since wondering if it could be done if only I posessed the technical know-how?

Thought as much. Well It's certainly nice to see my childhood dreams come true, the limiting factor in 'VR' interfaces has always been physical feedback and this would go a long way towards fixing that.

Now I just need to wait for so-called haptic-adaptive controll panels and my sci-fi dreams will be complete reality!

Not in the least. I personally got the idea from the old "G Gundam" series when it aired on Toonami. I always thought to myself "how in the hell do they run around in there?" and found myself thinking up designs for making a omni-directional treadmill and placing a giant screen around it. Oh the imagination of my 9 year old self was amazing...

Oh man, imagine the sorts of workouts you could have with that machine.

Alright people, if by next generation gamers start being regarded as gruff war veterans and bodybuilders, and our children ask us about the olden days, we need to have an entire database of war stories right at our fingertips. History's told by the victor, we got this.

Fuuuuuuuuck me.

I can't describe how cool it is to see us moving towards my childhood dream of virtual reality. This is pretty cool also in that you could get a really, really good workout while having fun playing games. The health benefits of this could be amazing.

I would absolutely LOVE to see this built into a first person MMO of some variety. Elder Scrolls Online might be the prefect test bed for that. Or mod TERA to have first person, the combat in that game very much lends itself to this kind of cool setup.

On a slightly less serious note, it'd be interesting to see the player's in game avatar fall face first into the dirt if it could detect you tripping and respond to it.

He's not even playing in first person. The camera's just stuck on the 3rd person model's head.
But, uhh... woo? Looks kind of awkward. And bad. Sort of like one of those gameplay segments of trailers for a game where you're not in control so they make the camera wobbly to simulate REALISM but just make the skill level really low and you've got it.

Nifty, but not for me. I play video games to relax, sometimes after I've played badminton for a few hours. The last thing I need after tough physical exercise is more physical exercise. Can't say I'd buy it.

Can we just get over this? Please? For the love of god? After a long hard day who on the flying fuck would even find the effort to give this a try?

It's a gimmick. It seems cool now but when you've just dealt with shit for the day, you're going spend several of your free hours running on the spot like a prat while also screwing-up your legs.

mad825:
Can we just get over this? Please? For the love of god? After a long hard day who on the flying fuck would even find the effort to give this a try?

Because exercise isn't a thing people engage in ever.

I'd agree it's not something you'd probably use every time you want to play a game, but it could be pretty cool for those that want a more immersive experience and exercise all in one.

To be perfectly honest f**k that. I am getting older and no longer walk so well, I have also put on a bit of weight compared to my old trim 12st. I do not really fancy having to stagger about trying to play my games, I like to chill in a comfy chair and relax when I play.

If I wanted exercise and shooting I would rather do paintball/airsoft instead, you get to dress up and play soldiers when you do that too.

The first step towards augmentations.

They should make the treadmill vibrate each time you take a hit, maybe disorienting you, like in real life.

mad825:
Can we just get over this? Please? For the love of god? After a long hard day who on the flying fuck would even find the effort to give this a try?

It's a gimmick. It seems cool now but when you've just dealt with shit for the day, you're going spend several of your free hours running on the spot like a prat while also screwing-up your legs.

Yeah it's a gimmick, but personally I see it as another step towards the virtual reality I myself desire. Granted we still have a LONG way to go to get close to the four requirements for THAT level of virtual reality, but hey, a step is a step.

Besides... imagine playing something like Myst with this. Or maybe Slender. Wait, actually, no, not Slender... too many of these harnesses would break from people jumping out of their skin and knocking the whole thing over... might break a limb or two as well.

baconsarnie:
Haven't we already seen this setup? With skyrim or something?
Reported here on the escapist, the focus may have been on a different element but i'm sure i've already seen it.

yes but that one was just a demo of the treadmill in this one it combines the 3 things that pushing more immersion (the rift the treadmill mill and the gun someone else was working on)
CORRECTION: looking back on the video he use the gun on a crysis warhead video He had a gun controller retrating (maybe they wanted to show it combined with the rift I dunno)
O.T. I really want one so bad

mad825:
Can we just get over this? Please? For the love of god? After a long hard day who on the flying fuck would even find the effort to give this a try?

It's a gimmick. It seems cool now but when you've just dealt with shit for the day, you're going spend several of your free hours running on the spot like a prat while also screwing-up your legs.

If anything this will help younger generations shape up and not end up the size of houses as some gamers tend to get. Just because you wouldn't use it personally doesn't mean it's a gimmick. I could totally see myself using this as a means for cardio exercise while having fun, cause I can tell you right now running on a treadmill for an hour with music/tv is hella boring.

I'm hyped as fuck for the Oculus, but I don't think we need any more VR than that until we can go full Matrix.

Okay, that looked really goddamn cool.

And I would love if this became a big thing. The only reason I don't exercise is because it's just really...boring to me. And the only active sports I like no one I know wants to play it. Seriously, this would be great, I could keep in shape without it being mind-numbingly boring.

Now just make one that turns webpages into obstacle courses where you can only see the full thing once you complete it and I'll be in peak physical condition in no time.

Someone please tell me if this thing is gonna be on the market, I know I want one of those!

though admittingly, I wish you could play the Bethesda sandboxes like Skyrim, or Fallout: New Vegas.

Or heck, maybe the next Elder Scrolls or Fallout will be available on that thing?

with the right amount of tweeking, I bet you'd get the ultimate gaming adventure!

This is really cool and I really want one (I'll no longer have to decide between going on a run or video games), but it does raise some questions.

Does this mean, as I hope it does, that developers will finally focus on getting full 100% fields of vision.

What happens when it tips over, as I'm sure is possible.

What happens if I hook up Rock Band? How about Farm Simulator?

Won't this give more ammunition to all those people who claim video games train murders?

That said, I can't wait to use Skyrim as it was intended: As a hiking sim.

mad825:
Can we just get over this? Please? For the love of god? After a long hard day who on the flying fuck would even find the effort to give this a try?

It's a gimmick. It seems cool now but when you've just dealt with shit for the day, you're going spend several of your free hours running on the spot like a prat while also screwing-up your legs.

Second that. Might be fun for a bit, but really, the point of playing videogames sorta involves not having to run around.

that looks really cool but i would use it more for games like skyrim or mirrors edge. I dont really play fps games that much anymore. looks like a fantastic opportunity to get more people into an exercise regime. I bet it isnt the cheapest setup though.

...This is actually going to make me buy an Oculus Rift. Now that I can complete the VR setup I want it, and I want it BAD.

Hell better start putting on their parkas, because a childhood dream about to be achieved! I have waited so long for gaming to reach this point, I actually have goosebumps right now.

go the whole hog and combine it with the vest from a few years ago that simulated hits in FPS games and add it to the arma games. if we are going to be accused of being murder practice simulators might as well go the whole way

So let me get this straight.

1) You can't jump - demonstrator didn't even try to
2) You can't run backwards - demonstrator didn't attempt this either
3) You can't strafe sideways, something as complex as circle-strafing is definitely out of the question
4) There is just no way this is as responsive as a keyboard/gamepad
5) Most likely costs more than people's kidneys

I get this was just a demonstration, but can someone PLEASE explain to me why people are wetting their pants over such an incredibly primitive control scheme which doesn't let you do shit? TF2 was possibly the worst example to use considering how much movement matters in that game.

"Think of the possibilities!" is what people say, conveniently forgetting about how fucking terrible motion controls were (Wii/Kinect/Move) and how quickly the game industry moved on from those.

Don't get me wrong, VR has some incredible uses - 3D design and CAD artists are fully justified to wet themselves over this because this is the ultimate tool in giving you an idea of the true "scale/depth" of objects and environments, far better than a flat screen could. If you want a new house built you can use VR to take a virtual tour through the rooms, etc.

But gaming? Hahahaha, no. Remember folks, smaller movements = more efficient controls = BETTER.

I'm just going to laugh if someone tries a combat roll in that thing...

It has to be said, being able to actually walk in order to tell the video game to walk is something that would interest me, if - and only if - the system was responsive. If it's anything like the kinect... I'm outta here.

My other concern is that at least with a video game I have peripheral vision to tell me if someone has walked into the room and wants to talk to me, or if my dog wants to go out, or if the house is on fire... With this set up, I'd feel far too... removed from the real world.

Arcades. For the love of god people, ARCADES! This has no place in a domestic setting, it should be used in motherfunster, asswhoopin', badass as they get ARCADES!

Okay, I just decided it would probably be good for my health if I got one of those omni things.
It would give me a reason to run.

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