An alternative virtual reality treadmill has hit its funding target on Kickstarter.
The Cyberith Virtualizer is the second such device to be successfully backed by the crowdfunding service, having reached $361k – easily passing its $250k goal.
Readers may recall that another VR treadmill, the Virtuix Omni, was successfully Kickstarted last year, having exceeded its $150k goal by reaching total backing of $485k. In April the company said it was targeting a September launch, but its website currently says that the $499 device will ship in February of next year.
Cyberith’s treadmill looks to differ from its rival by offering a simplified movement solution that uses a flat low friction walking pad that requires only that users wear their socks. The pad can detect the direction and speed of a player’s movement.
The team apparently dabbled with a Virtuix Omni-style bowl-shaped plate but dismissed it due to concerns about it breaking immersion.
When you run or walk on an even ground in-game your brain expects that your feet touch the ground exactly the moment your feet would do in reality,” the team said. But with a bowl your feet touch the slope of the bowl earlier than they should. Therefore every step becomes a reminder for you that you are not really inside Virtual Reality, you are in fact just using a controller.”
The ring that contains the player is also movable, allowing users to sit, crouch or jump. There are also vibration units in the base plate. There’s also an above-the-head arm that keeps any wires from a user’s Oculus Rift clear of the player.
Here’s a video: