VR Treadmill Coming in September for $499

VR Treadmill Coming in September for $499

Kinect not giving you enough of a workout while you're gaming? Enter the Virtuix Omni.

The Virtuix Omni, the omnidirectional treadmill designed for use with virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Rift, is shipping in September, and it will set you back nearly $500 plus shipping.

Naturally, you'll need a VR headset, a controller and a PC capable of handling all this fancy tech, too.

The treadmill itself has been seen a few times in the wild since its hugely successful Kickstarter campaign last year, in which Virtuix raised over a million dollars in pledges -- well ahead of its modest $150,000 goal. Here's a chap trying it out at last year's EGX (formerly Eurogamer Expo, the London-based gaming event organized by our sister site) and looking mildly ridiculous:

The Omni works through the means of a low-friction surface fitted with grooves. In order to use it, you'll need to wear special shoes with pins that fit into the grooves, and you are then able to walk in any direction, with your balance being maintained by a safety ring and belt assembly -- an important consideration if you have a VR headset attached to your head and consequently might not be able to judge how you're standing as well as you would be able to normally.

By itself, the device is supposedly compatible with any device that supports keyboard input, but it's also specifically designed to be used alongside specialist devices such as the Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra. The original Kickstarter campaign, in fact, promised that "any game currently in development for Oculus Rift will be ready to play with the Omni."

The Omni can be used alongside other devices for complete body-tracking, too -- most notably Kinect. When combined with Kinect, the Omni can recognize not only walking and running in various directions, but also jumping, crouching, strafing and arm gestures. The potential for truly immersive gameplay is enormous -- but much like anything else VR-related, it's still very early days to see how much the technology resonates with the game-playing public at large.

If you'd like to order your own Omni, step this way. Domestic shipping costs are estimated to be in the $60-90 range depending on your location, while international shipping ranges from $100 for customers in Canada and the UK to over $600 for certain territories such as Egypt and South Africa.

Here's Skyrim running using a combination of Oculus Rift and Omni, a prospect which a Skyrim-obsessed friend of mine is really rather excited about:

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