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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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Alkapwn

    There’s a typo in the third link. Just a heads up cause of the nature of the typo.

    • Paul James

      Ha! Probably my favourite typo ever! :) Thanks for the heads up. Sadly I had to correct it.

      • eyeandeye

        Hehe, I think I can still guess what it was.

        • Paul James


  • sponge101

    Finally this is coming to Kickstarter — been waiting for a confirmation for months. Just a minor correction: there’s a omni video that does show you can jump although not as high as is shown in the pic of the Virtualizer.

    The price should be comparable to the omni and the belt does look more comfortable than the omni. Maybe i’ll hold off buying the omni until a comparison review is made between the two.

    • kijutsu

      Pretty sure it’ll be more expensive then the Omni. So far they’ve only said that it was gonna be under 1000$ though. I wish them luck!

      • Wmerr21

        I thought that when I saw that it was being made in Europe, as opposed to being manufactured in China (omni). I would be willing to pay much more for a higher-end treadmill that allows more maneuverability, so long as the walking and running feels natural. We will have to wait and see for a comparison review, but it appears like walking and running would be more comfortable in the omni, although i hope I’m wrong on this.

      • sponge101

        You and me both. We need competition in the vr locomotion space so that not only prices would decrease but overall quality and features (realistic jumping,crouching, going prone, etc.) would eventually be added on as well.

      • Psuedonymous

        With tax and international shipping for the Omni, in Europe the Virtualiser could have a significantly higher list price and still end up cheaper.

  • Sven Viking

    “…what’s more, you can play in your sock!”

    Ah, good. I was afraid I was going to have to buy a second sock.

    • Paul James

      That would be pushing things too far. I’ll spend $800 on an omnidirectional treadmill, but I’ll be damned if I’m buying any more socks!

      Also, corrected. :)

  • snake0

    Finally something that looks half decent. Personally I’m sick to shit of all these e-begging poseurs with their half assed overpriced crap that barely has any functionality. You can say theres a difference between $600 and $800 but when you think of the market for these devices, its people who have money to burn on toys. No one is going to go for the shittier implementation just because it is 100-200 dollars cheaper.
    NO ONE.

  • deadering

    I’ve always thought this was cool, but would be less practical for a consumer standpoint. Both this and the Omni have their advantages and disadvantages, but it’s great to see different options available to us as long as the market does not get so watered down support for games becomes shit.

    I’d be surprised if this is much below $1,000 but we’ll have to wait and see.