I remember seeing the crowdfunding campaign for the Virtuix Omni years ago (seven, apparently) and thinking to myself, full of awe in my early 20s, “The future has arrived! Or, it will soon!” The Virtuix Omni was a cool concept, sure, but where the heck would I actually get to try the 360° ultra gamer virtual reality treadmill? Well Virtuix are unveiling a new consumer version that’s meant to fit in your home.
The Omni One has a new look. Begone is the belt cage that looked like a thing you put toddlers in so they can bounce around on their little jelly legs without falling over. Now it’s got a single arm and a superhero vest that you’ll strap yourself into. On their investor website, Virtuix say the Omni One offers “unrestricted freedom of movement including crouching, strafing, kneeling and jumping,” which you can see this lad demonstrating in their new prototype video.
Virtuix say that it measures a modest 4ft in diameter and can be folded up for stashing. It will include a standalone VR headset, for which they plan to have “30 top games available at launch developed by Virtuix and third-party studios.” I’m no engineer but I do wonder how wide a range of body types this thing will support. I mean, what if you aren’t the shape of Plunkbat’s default shooty man?
It still looks dorky but gosh darnit I still think the premise is cool as heck. The future has arrived. Or it will soon, maybe? I mean, not for me, because the thing will apparently retail for $1,995 (about £1548). They’ve compared that with the higher price of one of them Peloton bikes which, yeah, I don’t own one of those either now do I? It appears that in addition to the purchase of the system, Virtuix is aiming for a subscription service model, saying Omni Online will offer “online gameplay, player rankings, and contests and prizes” at $15/month.
That’s all for the future. At present, Virtuix is looking for investors starting at $1000 to receive benefits like a discount on the Omni One system or dev kit at launch. Despite still drumming up investors, Virtuix say that the Omni One will arrive in 2021.