Nothing breaks VR immersion more than having to navigate through other realities by a way of pushing buttons. The good people at OmniPad realized it and resolved to do something about it. The result of their efforts is the world’s first omnidirectional VR treadmill, that lets you walk around VR uncurtailed. After years of perfecting the product, OmniPad VR treadmill is ready to hit the markets. Let the crowdfunding equity campaign commence!
When it came out, Virtual Reality was something already anticipated, already dreamed of. The way we conceptualized it was always as this immersive technology that would let us run perfect simulations of the inhabited world. Alas, all these years in, and VR is still plagued by the self-same problems, limitations rather, present at the conception. One of the most forbidding limitations is the freedom of movement; enabling sensation has had its big success, but the much lauded 6DoF lack the final freedom – to move around VR worlds wherever we want.
Enter OmniPad VR treadmill. The technology behind it allows for the freedom of movement in every direction. Its locomotion surface does not favor any direction in particular, but rather flips and rolls wherever users want it. Walking, running, or jumping, experiencing Virtual Reality might have got raised to a whole new level. Endeavors such as sports training, first responding, gaming, or even military, will get a huge boost by breaking down the immersion walls.
Courtesy of its proprietary omnidirectional platform, OmniPad VR treadmill is quite a unique offering in the Virtual Reality market. Being able to perform a full range of intuitive movement patterns without any physical limitations helps the immersion tremendously. Just imagine being able to walk on the surface of Mars in an astronaut suit. The design mechanics, too, are something we haven’t had the opportunity to witness. A rolling locomotive platform shaped like a squeezed balloon. Yes, balloon.
The idea for OmniPad VR treadmill mechanics came from an unlikely source – a water balloon. Neil Epstein, serving as the company CEO, recalls how the invention came to be. Admitting that he has been troubled by the locomotion problems since as early as late 1990, he found a solution in how a water balloon reacts when pressed and rolled by both palms: ‘I realized that when you take a small water balloon, press it firmly between your palms so that and bottom surfaces are completely flat, and then motion your hands in opposing circular direction, the flattened water balloon freely revolves in all directions while still remaining completely flat on both sides. Hence, the core mechanics of the OmniPad (VR Treadmill) were born’. It is not entirely amiss to mention that Mr. Epstein has a vast background in animation, an Emmy award, too.
It is too early still to speculate on the price. The project is on the right track currently collecting equity funds needed to run the product. Once it hits markets, OmniPad VR treadmill is going to be big. It will push the boundaries beyond the immersion-breaking invisible walls.