Vienna-based startup Cybershoes recently launched their much-awaited Kickstarter campaign, which seeks to commercialize the titular device that allows you to ‘walk’ in VR with your own two feet. Now, the Kickstarter has blasted past its initial funding goal and is full steam ahead.

Update (October 3rd, 2018): Still with 28 days to go, nearly 500 backers have put down a collective total of more than €100,000 (~$115,000 USD) at the time of this writing. Cybershoes has a few stretch goals ahead, including guaranteed support for z-scaling at $300,000 and a yet undetermined funding tier that will unlock software support for jumping. The project creator haven’t issued an update, so it’s uncertain what extra stretch goals they’ve planned. The original article follows below:

Original Article (October 2nd, 2018): The idea is pretty simple: the shoe coverings feature a barrel-style wheel, that when spun, translates to forward and backwards VR movement. Sitting on a swivel stool, you mimic a walking movement and travel in the desired direction.

 

We went hands-on at this year’s Gamescom, and it appears Cybershoes basically accomplishes what it set out to do: increase immersion and reduce VR-related nausea. And while Cybershoes aren’t a perfect solution, the device makes a compelling case for lighter, space-saving locomotion controllers that aren’t nearly as disastrous to the pocketbook like the larger, heavier, more expensive VR treadmills out there.

When we tried Cybershoes at Gamescom in August, strafing wasn’t a possibility, as the device lets you move forward and backwards, but not left to right; if you want to go left, you can either use an artificial locomotion method like snap-turn, or physically swivel yourself in that direction. The creators have since implemented ‘directional’ walking though, which makes your point of view independent from the shoes’ walking direction—something the creators claim is a more natural way of walking through and viewing the virtual environment.

 

A pair of Cybershoes comes with a wireless radio receiver (not Bluetooth) that connects via USB to your PC. Requiring three hours of charging via Micro USB, the creators say you should have between eight to ten hours of playtime. Since the shoes emulate button presses, any PC VR game with ‘free’ locomotion should technically support Cybershoes, including games such as Skyrim VR, Arizona Sunshine, Onward and Rec Room to name a few.

The basic funding tier, which includes a pair of shoes, costs €193 (~$223 USD), although a Super Early Bird tier cuts that down to €151 (~$175 USD). You will of course need a swivel chair and probably some way to suspend the headset’s cable (the company suggests IKEA’s Regolit lamp holder).

Cybershoes Kickstarter

Milled from a single block of conductive plastic, the shoes are quite sturdy and are said to support up to 220lb / 100kg. A user’s full weight probably shouldn’t rest on the shoes though, as walking in them could result in a fall.

The campaign, which is set to last a month, is hoping to garner at least €30,000 (~$34,600 USD) in funding.

For more, check out the video below:

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  • This is a great idea. Not the perfect form of immersion, but something no one has thought of before. I read a previous article that turning was a bit awkward since you’re more swiveling than turning, but still, kudos to these guys, I can see a lot of people adopting this instead of the big VR slip and slide treadmills .

  • Da Mo (JFlash)

    Backed – The option to walk in one direction while facing another and at a price i could swallow sold it to me.

    • jj

      while seated with no strafing….

      • Da Mo (JFlash)

        i’m sure it will be fine for my library mostly single player stuff, not much FPS Deathmatch Royal stuff, plus my 48 year old knees are starting to grumble :(

        • jj

          yeahhh i agree completely! good point

  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    eh, I’d rather be able to evade, explore, crouch and prone in real life… then use trackpad for moving my motion square, like I have been doing for a year or two now.

  • mirak

    That’s so bad …

    • nipple_pinchy

      Like the Power Glove?

      • Kenji Fujimori

        No where near it, at least the powerglove even for 80s era technology was way beyond this plastic/ velcro garbage

      • Jerald Doerr

        Lol… Rode my bike 5 miles to homies house to play with that Power Glove! Memories! I might walk across the street to try these wheelies out!

        • nipple_pinchy

          I’d pay to see a fight between two dudes wearing Power Gloves.

          • Jerald Doerr

            Lol… I did…. I think it cost like 12 bucks! What was the movie called??? With the kid from the Wonderyears… Google.. lol The Wizard..

  • Definitely a typo. Thanks for catching it, Da Mo!

  • nipple_pinchy

    Seated… walking… *sigh*

  • brubble

    Gawd no! The next detox fad.

  • Kenji Fujimori

    Basically plastic soles with velcro attachments.. great JUNK!

  • Kenji Fujimori

    Treadmill is more better for that `real` experience.

    • jimmy “shaggytherodgers” nuetr

      Yeah, but it would cost thousands for a treadmill like that.

  • Kenji Fujimori

    Shitstarter is really pumping out SHIT lately

  • Weston Mossman

    You can’t strafe. It’s like tank controls in Resident evil 1

    • Da Mo (JFlash)

      I don’t know let’s hope not, I’m gonna take a guess that the wheels are there only to reduce friction maybe a pressure sensor Im hoping its more a magnetometer and accelerometer the wheels are a red herring

    • Konstantin

      Yes. But you get used to it pretty much immediately. As much as I’d like a solution that lets me strafe, and even better if it lets me crouch and crawl, there is nothing remotely close to that on the market that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars. If you can bank-roll that kind of a solution, I’m jealous. The rest of us will have to make best with what we have. And for the money, there is really nothing better in terms of VR locomotion right now.

  • impurekind

    Pretty novel idea there.

  • Da Mo (JFlash)

    Had a thought if you put coasters on your chair you can straff?

  • Skippy76

    What type of buffoon would support this? It makes zero sense.
    Nobody walks sitting down.. how can this possibly increase immersion?

    • Da Mo (JFlash)

      Yea, we should have a virtual mobility scooter for people who don’t like standing for hours.

    • Konstantin

      I tried it at TGS. It feels a lot more natural than it looks. I felt exactly the same way, but after playing Skyrim for five minutes, they converted me into a backer.

    • FriendlyCard

      It looks silly, but in actual use, it enhances immersion.

    • Jorge Gustavo

      This is funny. Nobody walks using a thumbstick or a mouse either and yet… People tend forget that VR in the current state is more a game device than an accurate simulation of reality.

      • Skippy76

        True but this would be totally useless in roomscale games. Other than playstation VR and one sensored rift users most hardware is designed with room scale in mind and not game pad style games. This device is useless in any game where you need to use your play space to get around. I don’t see how sitting in a chair while swinging your legs would actually be more immersive than standing and pressing forward on your controller. I think people are just creating random garbage to try and cash in on early VR adopters.

  • Trenix

    People are so lazy. VR used to be a reason for gamers to get fit, now they’re going back to sitting and being fat again. That’s the only reason I’d get VR, not for the immersion of being in a headset, but finally getting off my ass.

    • jj

      VR is a lot bigger than gamers getting fit….

      • Trenix

        Oh yeah? Then remove tracking overall tracking in VR. Oh wait, we already have that, desktop computers. If people are going to find ways to remove actions, then VR mind as well be dead. Reminds me of those losers who’d sit down while playing the wii and exploited the tracker because they’re too pathetic to move around.

        • jj

          …gaming not being about fitness, is a lot different than remove all tracking from vr….
          Nobody is removing actions, they just want to be comfortable while they enjoy ENTER-FUCKING-TAINMENT. How long is it going to take you to realize games and vr are about having fun and even education and fitness is just a byproduct… if you can’t see that then you must live in Castle a le Dunce.

          You’re just going to extremes to start an argument. nobody in their right mind would jump from “vr is bigger than fitness” all the way to “Oh so we should remove all tracking then”… You very swiftly displayed you lack of sanity and logical thinking and now nothing you say from here on will be credible. So next time try to actual formulate a thought and argument and you may pursued people, until then you’re a cookie cutter crazy troll just looking to fight.

          • Trenix

            Just go back onto the coach eating your cheetos.

          • jj

            aww poor little chub has nothing else to say… why don’t you try to address some of the topics and facts i presented instead of enhancing your douche appearance.

            Until then its pretty obvious you’re just a shitty troll. You’re probably the fat ass who’s trying to build up some self esteem by attempting to make fun of others. Again, turn your brain on you chode and actually add to the debate. otherwise shut the fuck up

          • Trenix

            You’re the one who got triggered for me stating the truth. There isn’t more to add really. I believe people who find ways to not move around, are lazy and fat. You can disagree all you want.

        • Da Mo (JFlash)

          Not all VR users are young

          • Trenix

            Not all old people are lazy. I work construction and would rather come home to a game where I can move in rather than sit down like a fat ass.

          • jj

            ? hmm usually the people putting out misinformed insults are inspired by their own flaws…. so in other words odds are YOU”RE the fat ass. Keep trying to support your perspective solely with insults, thats really going to pan out great for you, just wait ans see.

          • Trenix

            “I know you are but what I am”. Grow up while you’re at it.

          • Da Mo (JFlash)

            ‘Not all old people are lazy’ Who said they where?
            ‘I work construction’ Good for you and?
            ‘would rather come home to a game where I can move’ maybe you don’t work your construction very hard?
            ‘a game where I can move in’ yep standing still games aren’t the best
            ‘rather than sit down like a fat ass’ so your a standing fat ass?

          • Trenix

            Don’t give me excuses for why you’re fat an lazy.

          • Dark Evry

            I would rather play on my chair then duck, jump and strafe like a little embarrassed ‘tard.

          • Trenix

            Because you’re a fat lard that probably doesn’t even workout or do anything productive in life.

    • Konstantin

      Games that require fast, diverse movement, like Gorn or Holopoint, will not benefit from this kind of a setup. You’ll keep playing them in conventional Room Scale. This is for games like Skyrim and FO4 VR, which already use the controller to move. You mostly just stand in one place in these, even during combat. These shoes a way more workout than standing in one place. There’s a reason stationary bikes are a thing, and while the load isn’t there, you definitely start feeling it in your muscles after about five minutes of “running” in place while seated. I hope, better VR locomotion is in our future, but this is a fantastic stop-gap.

  • Jerald Doerr

    Mom’s pissed! There’s a little disk burnt into the carpet… I told her just tell your friends a UFO landed there!

  • MW

    Ekhm … Two mouses glued to shoes should do job much better…

    • Konstantin

      Go ahead and build it. Don’t forget to solve the filter problem when you’re writing an OpenVR plugin.

  • I tried them at gamescom and they are not that bad, so I’m happy that they reached their goal

  • superdonkey

    it just seems like it would be terrible for your lower back

  • GordoSan

    Lol at the people saying that roomscale movement is the only way to go for VR… Good luck finding a warehouse as big as the lands of Skyrim, or a similar RPG.

    I could see where this would work fine, and you’d sure be doing a heck of a lot more exercise than with a controller. It should also keep motion sickness down, due to more natural movement over no physical locomotion movement at all.