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.
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.
“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.