Walking Back to Happiness with Omni

Posted on Jun 12 2013 - 10:18am by Thomas Sharp

An exciting sounding new gaming accessory called Omni could be with us soon. It is being made by a company named Virtuix and it involves, well, virtual walking really, Hold on though, virtual walking could be the future of gaming as we know it.

The Omni set up includes a special platform and some shoes. You can control the on screen characters using your foot movements. It is a crowd sourcing funded project and it has now moved into the production stage.

The customised shoes come complete with sensors which work out which direction you are travelling. Those of a nervous disposition or with balance problems will be glad to hear that the footwear also comes with pins which slip into grooves on the platform, so falling off isn’t really an option.

The initial funding target of $150,000 was achieved in under a week on Kickstarter and the idea now is to move from a prototype into commercial production. To date $600,000 has been raised, which isn’t far off £400,000. It is now hoped that the first units will be available for buying in January of next year.

So What Does It Look Like?

walkThe most distinctive part of the Omni is the 50kg green and black platform, although there is nothing fancy going on inside this box. Instead, the key to the Omni – as with so many things in life – lies in the shoes. These contain accelerometers and magnetomers to work out your speed and the direction you are going in. in this way, you can use your feet to produce the equivalent to key strokes on any game you play with it, although it is expected that bespoke games will be brought out for it.

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