Cybershoes, the foot-worn VR locomotion accessory, garnered over $245,000 through its Kickstarter campaign before its close last November. The Vienna-based company has reentered the crowdfunding waters recently with an Indiegogo campaign that celebrates success today after reaching its funding goal in under 48 hours.
Update (February 7th, 2019): Cybershoes has officially passed its $30,000 goal with three weeks still remaining before the campaign’s close, scheduled for March 1st. The original article detailing the Indiegogo launch follows below.
Original Article (February 4th, 2019): The Indiegogo campaign is set to launch on February 5th at 7AM PST (local time here), and has a fixed goal of $30,000, meaning if the campaign doesn’t reach that sum before the end of the campaign then backers will be refunded.
The company says the campaign is intended to “continue to build awareness among consumers and potential investors.”
A preview of the campaign (link now live) has already been made public, which shows 99 ‘early bird specials’ priced at $269. This includes a pair of Cybershoes, swivel chair (black or red), a round carpet, wireless dongle, USB charger and cables.
The total MSRP of the setup mentioned above is priced at $550, representing a 51% savings for the first 99 backers. Delivery to all backers is estimated for July 2019.
Cybershoes is a strap-on shoe covering which features a barrel wheel underneath, that when spun, translates to forward and backwards VR movement. This, the creators say, helps eliminate some of the discomfort with artificial VR locomotion by tying your in-game movement to a physical action. It’s a pretty tried-and-true method, something VR treadmill creators have set out to accomplish with much larger, heavier, and more expensive devices.
One of the issues we noticed when we first demoed Cybershoes at Gamescom 2018 was a distinct difficulty in physically rotating in the swivel chair while trying to change directions. To address this, the company has added pronounced ridges to the bottom of the device to give it a bit more grip.
Demoing a near-final pair of Cybershoes at CES 2019 last month, it was clear the ridges helped somewhat with maneuvering, although general operation still took some getting used to. The same can be said about VR treadmills, although the company is clearly honing in on the at-home user with its small footprint needed to use the device, and significantly lower entry price.
Cybershoes supports HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Pimax VR headsets, and Microsoft VR headsets via the SteamVR platform. The creators claim all VR games supporting free locomotion will work with the device.