Virtualizer2We’ve been following Austrian company Cyberith and its virtual reality locomotion ‘controller’  the ‘Virtualizer’ for a while now. The Virtualizer is an omnidirectional treadmill which uses a flat base with low friction which enables a user to run, crouch and jump with movement data captured and mapped to in game controls. The team have come  along way since their public debut at Gamescom last year, where they barely made it to the show with a functional prototype.

Since then they’ve been all over the world promoting the Virtualizer, scooping awards and spreading the word that there is a viable alternative to the Virtuix Omni, one that you can jump and crouch in no less.

Now, the company have re-branded themselves and announced that the long awaited Kickstarter campaign, hinted at back in our original interview with Cyberith’s CEO Tuncay Cakmak almost a year ago. The Kickstarter launches on the 23rd of July and will give backers the opportunity to get their hands on the third revision of the Virtualizer. In it’s latest promotional literature is keen to emphasise differentiators between it and it’s only real rival right now, the Virtuix Omni. From the press release:

To guarantee for an optimal immersive experience, the Virtualizer has a flat base plate, resulting in a natural walking sensation.

Using a flat base plate ensures a completely immersive experience. By using e.g. a bowl shaped base plate, the user’s feet hit the slope of the bowl earlier than expected. The resulting discrepancy between visual and tactile information immensely breaks immersion.

Virtualizer1Omnidirectional treadmills are by definition, never going to be subtle devices. However, the company is keen to emphasise the portability and practicalities of owning such a thing:

The Virtualizer can be taken apart into its five core parts in a matter of minutes. The three pillars are 100cm (39.4”) high and the base plate has a diameter of also 100cm (39.4”). The distance between the center of the base plate and one pillar is 80cm (31.5”).

As a consequence of the vertically moveable ring-construction, the Virtualizer is accessible for a lot of different body shapes. The height of the user is thus almost irrelevant, but the theoretical limits are at 1m (3ft 3”) as minimum and 2.10m (6ft 11”) as maximum. The Virtualizer supports weight up to 120kg (265lbs). Importantly, it should be noted that the user’s hip measurement should not exceed 125cm (49”) in circumference.

This is a serious piece of gaming equipment, but it only requires a single USB connection for power and hooking up to your PC – what’s more, you can play in your socks!

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No details yet as to the structure, goal or rewards to be offered by the Kickstarter campaign, but we’ll of course let you know the minute we know more.

We wish the Cyberith team the best of luck with the Kickstarter campaign, and we hope to get our hands (feet) on the latest prototype at Gamescom this year. In the mean time, check our their brand new website here.

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