Cyberith are gearing up for the E3 Expo this month as they release details of new exciting Virtualizer (an omni-directional treadmill for VR) features. They’ve also confirmed they’ll be on hand at the event with 3 Virtualizers for attendees to try.
We’ve a long history with Cyberith here at Road to VR. After first encountering the Virtualizer, an omni-directional treadmill for VR gaming back at Gamescom in 2013 and through its hugely successful Kickstarter campaign we’ve followed the company and their progress with great interest.
First up, the company originally based in Austria, has managed to secure private funds in Q1 2015 totalling 1M EUR through the sale of company shared. This in addition to funding rounds last year which included public funds from the Austria Wirtschaftsservice organisation, an Austrian federal development and financing bank for the promotion and financing of companies. These funds have been poured into R&D within the company, apparently resulting in substantial progress in the Virtualizer’s featureset.
So, after a period working hard in semi-stealth mode, Cyberith has revealed it’s to visit the biggest gaming show in the world, E3, with not one, but three Virtualizers – all sporting new and intriguing features.
The first new additional feature is ‘decoupling’, which allows the player to walk in one direction whilst looking in another. An obvious addition for virtual reality game one might have assumed, but implementing this with omni-directional treadmills is not without its challenges. Combined with the Virtualizer’s USP, namely the ability to detect a user crouching and jumping, it does appear Cyberith’s device is leading the way in terms of breadth of features in the space.
The second noteworthy additional feature is analogue movement detection. Up to now, treadmill have treated movements in a somewhat binary manner, that is, you’re either walking slow or fast with no real subtlety in between. Cyberith now claim that the Virtualizer can “…detect the exact speed with which users move…” which will be quite something should the company manage to pull it off. Of course, such a feature requires software support as well, so it’ll be interesting to know how they’re interfacing with games to offer this new feature – analogue gamepad mapping perhaps?
The features are demonstrated in this new video just released by the team.
The company are also cementing it’s place at the heart of the VR industry by setting up shop at GSVlabs, Redwood City – bringing them closer to the US west coast VR community.
Road to VR will be checking out Cyberith’s new features for ourselves as we head to E3 2015 in a couple of weeks. We can’t wait to get our move on!