The Omni by Virtuix enhances the virtual reality capabilities of the Oculus Rift.
Gaming peripherals are making a welcome comeback as of late and we’re not talking about powergloves or lightguns – oh no, this stuff is big-time. The dream of living in a virtual world is made that much more possible with the Omni by Virtuix.
You’d have to have been living under a shell to not have heard about the Oculus Rift. It’s an up and coming, kickstarter funded device that allows you to view into a game’s world via a field of view, consumer-priced head-mounted display. Games that were already beautiful, are now enhanced through the ability to control your view of the world with your own head.
It just makes sense; so often the argument about whether inverted or non-inverted camera controls are more similiar to real life – why argue about detrimental processes when you can just get the player to control their view with their own necks? This leaves the hands free for what they’re meant for: reloading and chucking grenades. Innovative to say the least, games such as Skyrim and Dear Esther become full body experiences.
Now what the Omni promises to do is bridge that awful gap between head controlled gaming immersion and d-pad movement and gives you the ability to walk and run your way through your favourite worlds – with your own two legs. The Omni, at it’s core, is an omni-directional treadmill that tracks your body position, how fast you’re rotating and translates that into your respective game’s avatar.
The best way to illustrate this concept is through the glorious medium of recorded video.
Okay, so. Impressions.
This device does make you look a tad silly, the walking’s not exactly perfect and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t support jumping (otherwise Assasin’s Creed and Mirror’s Edge are gonna be the bomb diggity). But we’re so close to virtual reality that we can only cross our fingers that Virtuix’s promise to keep it “affordable for household consumers” stays true.
Head over to the official site for plenty more footage of the Omni in action.
Finally, some games that I’m totally emailing Virtuix with the second this bad boy is funded:
Amnesia: The Dark Descent – You’ll never want to walk ever again!
Drunken Robot Pornography – Better than all the drugs!
Sonic 3 and Knuckles – The ultimate cardio workout!