Cybershoes, the makers of a locomotion peripheral for VR headsets, launched a Kickstarter in late November for a new Quest-compatible version of the device. Now heading into the new year, Cybershoes for Quest has concluded its campaign after tripling its initial funding goal.

Update (January 4th, 2020): Before heading into the new year, Cybershoes for Quest garnered $98,420 from 470 backers, tripling its initial $30,000 funding goal.

While the team behind Cybershoes is no doubt extremely happy with the results, the company reports it has encountered limitations that are stopping them from emulating the Oculus Touch controller.

“It looked very promising since we’ve started this endeavor but as of December 23rd we’ve identified new problems. Unless we can register as openXR driver, ideally in cooperation with Oculus/Facebook it would only work by rooting the device and this has never been a pathway we wanted to follow.”

Update (November 30th, 2020): Cybershoes for Quest has now doubled its $30,000 funding goal. At the time of this writing, the Kickstarter has attracted a little over $64,000. And with a month left in the campaign, the Quest locomotion peripheral hasn’t shown signs of stopping. The original article detailing the campaign’s launch follows below:

Original Article (November 25th, 2020): Unlike conventional VR treadmills, which require you to stand on a parabolic base and slide your feet with special, low-friction shoes, Cybershoes offers a seated experience that requires the user to slide a pair of shoe-mounted devices forward and backward to simulate walking or running in-game. To accomplish this, the devices include integrated barrel-shaped wheels in each shoe and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to register foot orientation.

It sounds weird, and it is, but it’s both more compact and cheaper than a VR treadmill, and it’s easier to operate too.

Following its 2018 Kickstarter campaign for its first PC VR-compatible device, the Vienna-based startup is again raising funds for its next iteration of Cybershoes, this time focusing on a Quest compatibility module that is designed to also work with the company’s standard Cybershoe model.

The head-mounted Quest module includes an additional IMU, which when fused with the shoes’ data, can be processed to obtain X and Y motion. For power, the device plugs in directly to either Quest or Quest 2 via the USB-C port.

Image courtesy Cybershoes

The question with these third-party peripherals always ends up being game support, or the lack thereof. Developers will need to integrate support for Cybershoes into their games using the team’s SDK, something Vertigo Games has already done this for its popular zombie shooter Arizona Sunshine. 

Provided the campaign reaches the $60,000 mark, Cybershoes will also offer a workaround compatibility layer for other games via SideQuest, the unofficial store for Quest games and experiences.

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“With a few games, like [The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners], we’ve already established compatibility by adopting the Cybershoes to the game. The Cybershoes app will bind the Cybershoes movement onto the Quest’s touch controllers. This process is very similar to how compatibility is achieved on the PC version of the Cybershoes. In the last year, we’ve integrated over 50 games by finding out the best settings,” the team says.

The company is selling both the Cybershoes + Quest module through its Kickstarter, starting at the early bird price of $280. Alternatively, users who already own a pair of Cybershoes can buy a Quest module on its own for $50, which is estimated to retail for $80 after the campaign is concluded.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Jan Ciger

    Uhhh, the ergonomic aspect of this is just … *facepalm*

    The sliding feet “treadmills” are terrible but at least you are doing a semi-natural motion. However running with bent knees sitting down? That is going to be extremely tiring quickly and pretty awkward for most people unless they have a really high chair.

    • Jeannine Soto

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  • TechPassion

    Super stupid product. You have VR and you limit yourself to sitting in VR and pedalling with legs. Oh no :)

    • NLA_VR

      Have you ever thinked about disabled People maiby want to play VR?
      some People cant stand and walk but can use their legs sitting.
      You are not using your brain in a wider perspective. No offence.

      • ViRGiN

        Yet another campaign brings nothing but successful campaign with unsuccessful product. It’s already on the market for long time, and there is no real interests.

        If they can’t walk, surely they don’t have the energy to kick your feet around constantly. You are not using your brain in wider perspective.

        • TechPassion

          You finished him with these legs:)

  • Ad

    I still don’t get why someone would get a mobile headset and pair it with this, but I’m actually more curious about how it works on a technical level. Does it need sideloading?

  • wowgivemeabreak

    Seems incredibly lame that you need to sit down. WTF is the point of having the Quest and that untethered goodness if you are just going to sit in a chair? WTF is the point in general of just sitting in a chair to play most VR games? How is that more immersive? In the game you are designed to be standing up and walking/running while in real life you will clearly realize you are sitting down.

    • Behram Patel

      It may be valuable to the aged . Even for just walking around a garden / beach.