VR Omni-Directional Treadmill Lets Players Run and Gun

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synobal:
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.

Get Razer Hydra, it a wiimote like control with more degree of control and better accuracy, and since the end of the two handle is somewhat pointy, look more suited for stabbing to me.

Also why waste money on a kinect just to shout ? Buy a good microphone at that price. =p

Yuuki:
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.

Yes, but bigger movement mean no need to go to the gym. (Which I hate, thus why I do martial art instead).

Give me a VR Road Rash and I will gladly go against motorcycle on my bicycle. =p

thaluikhain:

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.

I thought the point was to have fun and pass time.

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?

A new super race of superhumans are created.

iniudan:
Yes, but bigger movement mean no need to go to the gym. (Which I hate, thus why I do martial art instead).

If you think this VR treadmill is even a fraction as useful as a full-blown gym or martial arts for exercise...I really hope you were joking :S

I get that this thing this can at least help with fitness because it is better than sitting down - but that's EXACTLY what people said about the Wii. Any fitness enthusiast is going to LAUGH at the Wii Fit and any gamer is going to LAUGH at it too, because it's a joke in the eyes of both groups and satisfies neither of them.

When you game, game hard. When you exercise, exercise hard.

The problem with things like VR and motion controls are, is that the closer we get to "realism" the more obvious the disconnect becomes. Call it the uncanny valley of game controls.

One of the biggest issues is using a controller that doesn't suit/favor the game - I'm not going to use a steering wheel to play an arcade fighter, a keyboard to play a flight simulator, or a treadmill + VR headset to play a first person shooter. That's the harsh truth.
A mouse allows me to be vastly more precise than my whole body waving a pseudo-gun around, with the benefit of letting me sit down and relax while my hand/fingers do all the work. After all, evolution designed the human hand with precision and intricacy in mind.

The only thing that works better than fingers is the brain itself, and the day we'll be able to fully control games with just our our BRAINS (zero delay) is the day that all other forms of controllers can be done away with.

Look at Dance Dance Revolution, now there is an excellent example of a controller fits the game and theme. I've seen some pretty amazing shit from DDR fanatics XD

But see, if you handed that girl a controller and was told to input those moves with her fingers, DDR would become jokingly easy for almost anyone. The entire challenge revolves around using your feet to do all the work and compete with others for high score - i.e. it's an arcade game.

So that's where I can see this VR "shooter" setup working in gaming...arcades! The place where people play Time Crysis with plastic guns despite everyone knowing nothing is more accurate than a mouse :P

Yuuki:
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

As far as the first one, there's no reason to assume you can't control jumping with a simple button press. As far as the second and third points, we can't really assume that either since we're being shown a demonstration using a game that wasn't made for this. In fact, compared to the feat of making an omni-directional treadmill, implementing backwards and sideways movement should be relatively simple.

Lets not beat around the bush. I want this now.

Yuuki:
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?

The FAQ on the Virtuix website states that strafing will be possible with the Omni. Assuming that Virtuix isn't lying, then the support for strafing most likely means that the Omni can also support backwards movement as well.

Also, why can't people be excited for something that comes so close to overcoming the Uncanney Valley of VR? For years we've had VR technology that has never even come close to matching our expectations. With the Occulus Rift and the Virtuix Omni, we are getting extremely close to something that actually does come close to our perceptions of VR.

I don't really like exercising in a gym, so I only do the occasional walk when I feel like it once in 2 months.

I'm not fat, but I'm not really well trained. Some walking on that thing would be great for me :) I can see it work great in single player games too, like STALKER or Skyrim.

I believe they're planning to make this affordable for normal consumers, so let's wait it out.

William Dickbringer:

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

As long as its slightly different.

It does look like a sweet piece of kit.

ScruffyMcBalls:
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!

I couldn't agree with you more. Maybe I should clone myself, just so they can agree with you. I can't think of a better way to bring arcades back. And just think! You could combine arcades and gyms!

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?

Thats an eay one... Video Game High School.

But as others have said, to lazy to want to run around in games. I think the Rift will be all i need for a while.

Yuuki:

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.

That is only true if you define "gaming" as a strictly limited list of current gameplay genres that demand the kind of "efficiency" that you are requesting here.

No, this won't be the best system for competitive shooters, or for third person tactical RPGs, or whatever. But if it provides a more "immersive" gaming experience than those, then I can easily see the new form of interactive digital entertainment that is growing around VR outgrow old gaming as a whole, regardless of how efficiently those were doing their own thing.

First person games are also less "efficient" than 2D side-scrollers, as you have a lower field of view, you can't always see where you are jumping. Yet when the technology was ready, it was not first-person gaming that needed to justify it's efficiency, but 2D games had to struggle to stay relevant against greater immersion.

Immersion is always a more significant demand of progress, than simply subserviently bending to an established gameply genre's arbitary ideas of efficiency.

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.

I think you may be right...

Anyway; If you want other options: If you have a spare football field, for example, you can get some fresh air, whilst gaming. :9

I feel like FPS games would actually be the least impressive use of this technology. With a little tweaking, can you imagine Mirrors Edge? That would either be the most amazing thing ever, or a complete disaster, I'm not sure which. But a guaranteed success? Any horror game that takes away your ability to attack. Imagine Slender, or Amnesia with this? Or if you want to go all power fantasy still, imagine a good stealth game. OH! Throw in a kinect, and have guards be alerted when you make noise in real life!

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?

We tend to call those soldiers. (= This does look like it'll be more fun than basic training was, though.

OMG as someone who finds the treadmill insanely boring Id love this as a way to keep fit and having tons of fun whilst doing so.

This seems a good idea to explore overall, me gusta mucho.

While this seem nice and dandy. I would prefer a working version of this thing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0-dsbeasgA&list=UUj_UmpoD8Ph_EcyN_xEXrUQ&index=1

Imagine, beaming yourself into a game like in Sword Art Online.
(seriously, check out the menu at 6min mark)

Yuuki:
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

And even more importantly, how are you going to crouch? Because crouch-jumping is an important aspect of getting around certain maps. Not to mention your sticky or rocket jump will go much higher/further if you crouch jump when blasting your own feet rather than plain jumping.

I also haven't seen him switch weapons as there were situations where a shotty would've been more useful than the rocket launcher. For that matter, I also haven't seen him reload outside of when his clip was empty.

So yeaaah, it might be fun, but I don't think you're going to be a credit to your team with this set-up any time soon.

My boss already predicted my death if I get this.

Cause of death, loss of situational awareness.

Yuuki:
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.

It's a step in the right technological direction. Sure it's not practical until it's almost perfect but it's progress. If we can do this today, who knows what we can do in the future? Unlike motion controls, this set-up isn't restricted to the gaming industry so I doubt it's going to be left in a primitive state similar to this. However little this progress may seem to be and however silly it may seem to be, I'm glad it's being done.

Progress is exciting, particularly for those who hold interest in the possibility of a virtual reality they can immerse themselves in thought to be the stuff of science fiction.

I only offer one reason why people are getting excited.

I want to try this out so bad. If it's actually functional, you better believe I'm buying it, but the wii has ruined my optimism, so this is gonna have to prove itself first.

Yuuki:
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.

Thank you. After reading so many responses of "oohh man, I'd LOVE to have one of those", I was getting a little disheartened. Your post was a sane voice at last.

VR in gaming = gimmick.
Treadmil thing + VR game = gimmick on a gimmick.

VR makes your gaming experience worse, and now there's a worse and more restrictive way to navigate in the world too. Awesome!

Don't want to rain on your parade, but that will kill gamers with exhaustion.

...But then again, it will make us more healthy and muscular, at least legwise. Wonder what would happen if you tune it so that people can play WoW. Seriously, if you have a wii mote with weights duct taped to your arm then this will be a freaking miracle machine. You know, if it doesn't kill you.

In which case, how much will this cost and when will it come out?

DiamanteGeeza:
Thank you. After reading so many responses of "oohh man, I'd LOVE to have one of those", I was getting a little disheartened. Your post was a sane voice at last.

VR in gaming = gimmick.
Treadmil thing + VR game = gimmick on a gimmick.

VR makes your gaming experience worse, and now there's a worse and more restrictive way to navigate in the world too. Awesome!

So far I've had a several responses saying that the tool is only a very early step in VR and that's why it's so restrictive, that things will only improve.

But my point is that even if you had absolutely perfect 1:1 motion with this thing, even if you could jump/strafe/etc and have perfect accuracy with the gun (or whatever) controller, ultimately it will still not be looked at as a convenient/practical way to play games. Especially for heavier gamers who game on a regular basis for anywhere from 2-4 hours, such a scheme would be an absolute pain for even a VERY healthy/fit gamer to use for more than 30-60 minutes.

Convenience and practicality was probably the last thing on the developers' minds when they were making this thing. Actually throw affordability on that list as well.

On a positive note, I could see the VR Treadmill being a fairly big success in gaming arcades where you will find all the other "gimmicky" (but fun for short periods) games like Dance Dance Revolution...

image

Superbike racing...

image

Musical instrument simulators...

image

image

And of course, who can forget point-at-screen shooters (Time Crisis anyone?)...

image

The VR Treadmill falls into the same category as all the above "control" methods.

And people DO own point-at-screen shooters and DDR pads at home, don't get me wrong. Guitar Hero and Rock Band are more examples of "simulators" that work amazingly well.

But they worked because they are affordable and convenient, and I will rip my arms off if the VR Treadmill costs anything less than $500. If you got a phone call you could easily drop your controller or hop off your DDR pad to answer it, but while completely strapped into a VR Treadmill wearing a brick-sized head attachment? Urgh.

Yuuki:

DiamanteGeeza:
Thank you. After reading so many responses of "oohh man, I'd LOVE to have one of those", I was getting a little disheartened. Your post was a sane voice at last.

VR in gaming = gimmick.
Treadmil thing + VR game = gimmick on a gimmick.

VR makes your gaming experience worse, and now there's a worse and more restrictive way to navigate in the world too. Awesome!

So far I've had a several responses saying that the tool is only a very early step in VR and that's why it's so restrictive, that things will only improve.

But my point is that even if you had absolutely perfect 1:1 motion with this thing, even if you could jump/strafe/etc and have perfect accuracy with the gun (or whatever) controller, ultimately it will still not be looked at as a convenient/practical way to play games. Especially for heavier gamers who game on a regular basis for anywhere from 2-4 hours, such a scheme would be an absolute pain for even a VERY healthy/fit gamer to use for more than 30-60 minutes.

Convenience and practicality was probably the last thing on the developers' minds when they were making this thing. Actually throw affordability on that list as well.

On a positive note, I could see the VR Treadmill being a fairly big success in gaming arcades where you will find all the other "gimmicky" (but fun for short periods) games like Dance Dance Revolution...

image

Superbike racing...

image

Point-at-screen shooters (Time Crisis anyone?)...

image

If you think about it, the VR Treadmill and Rift Omni fall into the same category as all the above "control" methods. And people DO own point-at-screen shooters and DDR pads at home, don't get me wrong. Guitar Hero and Rock Band are more examples of "pretend simulations" that work amazingly well.

But they worked because they are AFFORDABLE and CONVENIENT, and I will rip my arms off if the VR Treadmill costs anything less than $500.

The difference with Guitar Hero and Rock Band is that the peripheral actually made playing the game better. Trying to play any type of fast gameplay on the treadmill will be terrible and, as you point out, exhausting too. Until consoles get their input data directly form your brain, it's hard to imagine a more efficient way of navigating in a gaming world than a joypad.

As an interesting aside, VR in arcades has failed several times over the last couple of decades - the main problem (and there were MANY! LOL) that we discovered was that people really don't want to put a sweaty headset on their head, particularly when it's soaked in the sweat of countless other individuals. It's also much more expensive for the arcade because each machine needs an operator to explain what to do, so this means the price-per-play goes up and customers aren't too happy with that either. There are myriad health and safety issues, too. All in all, VR is nothing but a gimmicky pain in the ass that lots of people think they really want, until they get to actually try it and realize that they don't!

DiamanteGeeza:
The difference with Guitar Hero and Rock Band is that the peripheral actually made playing the game better. Trying to play any type of fast gameplay on the treadmill will be terrible and, as you point out, exhausting too. Until consoles get their input data directly form your brain, it's hard to imagine a more efficient way of navigating in a gaming world than a joypad.

Argh, don't quote my huge post with all those images, snip them out or something :S

On the topic of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, if I wanted to be a jerk then I could say that technically using guitar/drum peripherals are not the best way to play those games. If you think about it, the entire goal is to whack the incoming icons in the right order - so if you were to replace the drum/guitar with say...a keyboard, or gamepad and translate all the inputs to the keys/buttons, the games would become a JOKE to play.

The hardest part about Guitar Hero is learning to use guitar peripheral and get very good with it. But if you were to bring someone along like me equipped with nothing but an XBox controller with emulated inputs and the triggers acting as a whammy bar (I suck at Guitar Hero btw, but I'm fairly decent on a real guitar, oh the irony :P) I would actually have no trouble with the beginner-intermediate tracks :D

It's safe to say that doing the below with a guitar peripheral or DDR pad would be IMPOSSIBLE:

But I get the appeal of Guitar Hero and Rock Band is the increased immersion with controllers resembling the instruments, as Yahtzee said you can at least close your eyes pretend to be Carlos Santana for a few brief *wonderful* moments :P

Back on the topic of VR, so far several of the first-impression reviewers of Rift Occulus have complained about...you guessed it...motion sickness :S

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

God, I love living in the future!

I'll pass.

I kinda like sitting down while playing, thank you very much.

I already got aches from playing the dead space rail shooter while standing up today. @_@

That looks great although I liked the look of the giant hamster balls that someone made about 5 years ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YFIDFHKpKmM

There shouldn't be a problem with price or space as people easily buy gym equipment for use at home and if lethargic gamers don't like it I'm sure there will be a new market who will take up this great new tech.

Vivi22:

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.

I'm of the opinion that a lot of Gamers just need the encouragement to find a sport which they enjoy playing. A lot of sports are still games after all. A lot of these augmentation technologies can only increase the amount of physical sports that exist.

I have a lot of nervous energy, and Muay Thai was a nice click for me that I just didn't know existed a couple years ago.

Yuuki:
snip

I agree that it's very unlikely to be a replacement, even in the future, but when it is affordable with issues sorted I think it'd be a nice thing to have. As you pointed out, it wouldn't be feasible to use it as a replacement but as something to do from time to time when you have an itch for immersion, this set-up would be great.

I like to think in the near-future, the next decade, someone is going to use this set-up with a first person horror game. Movement and combat tends to be simpler in horror games so I see this as the next logical step. Or rather, the first logical step but as I said before, this progress shown in the video is still good.

I think Yahtzee's comment on his talk about motion controls where he said games are better played slumped on a couch with a mouth full of Malteesers.

Seriously...I doubt this will be any fun since your gameplay now becomes WAY too dependant on your fitness level. In fact...

"Well, we found him passed out in this bloody thing after we told him to just relax and play some video games. Apparently the RELAX part missed him somehow..."

So... how about jumping?

Now all we need is good motion controls that have some element of force feedback(even simple vibration would be an improvement). Better would be an arm piece that can lock up at joints to convey real force. Like say in a melee combat game you lock swords with someone, the brakes and motors on the arm piece would engage and you'd have to overcome them to win the lock.

Unfortunately, it would require more bulk than I could reasonably expect someone to strap to their arm when they want to play a game, but it's no more ridiculous than an omni-directional treadmill.

Alternatively, there's this;

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