You may have already heard about The Virtuix Omni, a so called omnidirectional treadmill video game peripheral.
Although I feel that this gadget is still in a very early stage of its evolution and will eventually be replaced by something much better, it is still rather interesting.
Just like almost everything VR related (except SL) it is getting a lot of attention lately.
Especially after reaching its Kickstarter goal of $150,000 almost immediately and eventually ending up with more than $1,100,00.
No matter how you feel about VR, it is clear that there are a lot of very generous people out there who are desperate for the VR (r)evolution.
Simply put, it is a plastic bowl you stand in while simulating walking by sliding your feet, this movement is then translated into the game you’re playing and together with a VR headset you’ll experience the illusion of actually moving inside virtual surroundings.
Far from perfect but it works and it is a lot cheaper than most of multi directional treadmills that can only be found at laboratories, the army, etc.
These machines generally also need a lot more space to function.
So for the moment, it is a pretty cool thing that will give you the illusion of actually walking inside a game or virtual world.
With all the attention it is getting, it is very nice to see that they have bothered giving Second Life a go and even made a video of the experience;
Unfortunately it seems that they were just giving it a go and did not spend much time figuring out SL before they started their walk.
Nevertheless, it is fun to see someone walking around SL with their RL feet.
I can imagine myself doing this quite a bit.
Especially in role-play sims this could add a whole new dimension, try and outrun a cop, for real!
Or perhaps have a running contest!
In combination with a kinect or other 3d scanning gadgets you could even move your body in RL and have those movements translated to your avatar in SL, finally you too can dance in SL as bad as you do in RL!
But it will also make us get out of our chairs and move our selves.
I can imagine that this would make SL a much more entertaining option for exercise than going to the gym or running outside in RL.
But as I’ve said before, it is still a bit of a primitive device and I hope that eventually we get something that won’t involve us wearing a harness and sliding on plastic.
Why do I suddenly have to think about those baby seats on elastic bands they used to jump around in before they could walk?