The video game industry is no longer similar to what it was like years ago; video games have changes from using joysticks and controllers to being virtual and motion sensor guided games. One project owner is gearing up to add another technological tool to the industry by introducing a video game accessory which also serves as exercise equipment.
The Virtuix Omni was inspired by the success of the Kinect a few years ago and the introduction of the "Wiimote controller" from Nintendo's last gaming console; the project owner realized both products get the user off the couch but they don't necessarily give you any place to go once you're there. With the success of the crowd-funded Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, inventor Jan Goetgeluk was convinced that his product would be a great success on KickStarter. Backers were driven by promise to meet the initial funding goal in just three-and-a-half hours. Within the 2 month period, Goetgeluk was able to raise $1,109,351, an astonishing amount over the initial $150,000 goal.
Similar to the Oculus, gaming is only the first market for the Omni, as it could be used with many applications such as simulations and training. However unlike the Rift, the Omni can be compatible with any PC games out of the box while the Oculus Rift requires games to be modified for compatibility.
While it has attracted a lot of attention, there are still many restrictions with the concept and the product still requires much progression. For example, the size of the Omni may turn off a lot of people, as it may be hard to fit a product the size of a standard treadmill in a standard living room. As well, the price is estimated to be around $500, which when combined with the costs of the newest consoles from Sony and Microsoft, may turn off a great amount of people.
Still, it is an intriguing idea and one that will no doubt get gamers to reach their maximum heart rate.