Infinadeck VR Treadmill Shows Improvements With Vive Trackers, Launches This Week


Infinadeck is an active omnidirectional VR treadmill which has been in development since at least 2014. A new video shows the treadmill now using Vive Trackers for enhanced tracking, which appears to have increased the responsiveness of the device. The Infinadeck is set to launch this week.

Infinadeck is fairly unique among VR treadmills that we’ve seen in the past as it’s an active VR treadmill, which uses moving parts, rather than a passive VR treadmill, which relies on low friction surfaces, like the Virtuix Omni.

Infinadeck’s interesting design effectively works like a tank track (which can roll in one direction) where each tread is its own tiny treadmill (which can move perpendicular to the tank track direction). With the two movements combined, the treadmill can move users in arbitrary directions, which means it can be used to counteract a user’s movement in any direction.

Photo by Road to VR

We’ve tried prototypes of the Infinadeck over the years, and have seen it get more compact and responsive over time. Despite offering a more natural gait thanks to a surface that actually moves under your feet, one sticky point has always been the tracking—which was previously achieved with a hanging harness—which was slow to respond to your movements and made it hard to change directions.

A new video has emerged from the company showing that the harness-based tracking has been scraped in favor of tracking data coming directly from the headset and Vive Trackers mounted on the waist and feet:

The video appears to show significantly more responsive tracking than previous versions of the treadmill, as can be seen at 1:48 where the user makes several 90 degree turns in just a few steps. While it’s almost certain that the waist-mounted sensor is feeding data into the treadmill for counter-movement, it isn’t clear if the foot and head Trackers are being used as part of the calculation, or if they’re simply facilitating the view of the virtual body to illustrate the video. We’ve reached out to the company for clarity.

Kat VR Announces New 'Mini' Version of Its VR Treadmill, Kickstarter Coming Soon

This week Infinadeck is hosting a launch party at the SVVR office in Silicon Valley where the latest treadmill prototype will be on hand for demos. Ostensibly the device will be available for sale thereafter, though pricing details have yet to be announced.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    You can walk, but you can’t run.

    • gothicvillas

      and this is the major problem. I would think the best option would be to have user hanging in air somehow. Why they dont come up with the harness which somehow lifts you up just above the surface but keep you up straight.

      • Mei Ling

        The point of this active approach is to better simulate the act of walking in real life and give a sense of direction through your inner ears. If you hang in the air and just waddle your feet about it’s not going to recreate that experience of actually moving.

        • What about if you are in the air but your feet land on hydraulic plates that act as a contact surface, so they move around under you (move in any direction and can change angle for slopes) tracking your foot so when you put your foot down to floor level, you foot lands on the plate, you can then push off from that surface (which also moves backwards slightly to keep you central) giving the impression you are moving, running turning on a solid floor, slopes, steps etc. I can visualize it in my head, not as easy putting it into words.

          Let me try again….sort of imagine if somebody knelt down and put their hands out, asked you to stand on their outstretched hands, then asked you to walk, as they take a step off your hands you move your hand to catch their next foot fall. The user can then walk in place. Now replace your hands with solid tracked plates that do the same job. The user is unaware of what is happening outside the VR session but inside it feels like they are walking on a surface.

          The desired effect is a true 360 treadmill that could even allow the user to jump up onto walls, climb stairs etc.

          • Harry Cox

            Take away the hydraulic plates… Put the hands back in and you’ve got yourself a deal.

            Sounds like a fairly good idea though. Not that I really know anything about that sort of engineering or design

          • David Wilhelm

            It’s an interesting idea but would perhaps require a lot of exposed mechanics — even if the gears are contained it might still have pinch points, and it would have to be strong enough that it could cause an injury to people, pets, and objects around it. Safety is probably a big part of the current design ethos in these products.

          • yeah, it would be very dangerous as its a machinery moving as fast as you are with the power to hold a person. A treadmill / training bike / rowing machine etc could be considered dangerous too in retrospect.

          • gothicvillas

            Thank you thats exactly what i had in my mind but couldn’t describe it! :)

          • Rob B

            I thought about this in the past.
            Easiest way to envision is walking on a large mirror floor,
            except the reflection underneath you is actually a pair of robotic legs.

          • Spot on description.

          • super interesting idea, the reaction timing of the plates must be super quick

      • Sven Viking

        I’d thought the same, though apparently there’s more danger involved than you’d expect:

        • Wow, ok so not “hanging” in suspension then but strapped into an exoskeleton?

    • nono075

      In my solution it’s possible ! this vidéo have one year and now is ready !

  • Andrew McEvoy

    Interesting choice of music in the video, for what is essentially just a dude walking slowly :)

    • Ashley

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    • Andreas Zetterström

      I so would have liked the music from hotstepper :D

  • RJH

    This looks fantastic. Gamers might not been that enamored by it but for folk who like to use VR for experiences – like country walking, VR museums, VR travelogs etc it would be a dream.

    • Laurence Nairne

      For the level of investment these ‘folk’ could probably purchase a reasonable car, get an annual subscription to trust managed grounds and properties (in the UK this is National Trust membership), so they could go for real walks and experiences – they’d probably still have cash left over.

      • Oh I certainly agree with you. We started out building this as a military simulator for mission rehearsal to replace costs and safety aspects of doing it in real life. I am not in the camp that VR will replace real life experiences, I have a national trust membership and no technology could replace walking around Clivedon house :)

        • Laurence Nairne

          Oh there’s absolutely a place for this technology in enterprise and military applications, just not sure it makes sense in the home which many on here seem to expect is the end goal.

          Locomotion definitely needs solving for home VR, but I think it’s not a hardware solution. Was reading another article on here regarding redirection inside the tracking space.

  • impurekind

    It’s getting better but it’s still not there.

  • Mei Ling

    Still needs a lot of work; at least another 3 years.

  • gothicvillas

    Think I’ve seen this in Ready Player One movie trailer…

  • dk
    • Pauline

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  • Will Cho

    I don’t see this working perfectly without leads on your head or legs(ekg). It needs to know if you are going to run, turn, stop and etc(jump?) Doable I think.

    • dk
      • Will Cho

        I’ve seen those but I was talking in regards to this article and the treadmill it presents.

        • dk

          and if u want that stuff or the best sort of vr treadmill in general u need the katwalk setup

          • Will Cho

            If I had the money and space, I prolly would

          • dk

            hmm infinadeck also r trying out the support system from the top ….but u can’t sit with their thing

  • Dardatine

    How to walk while holding in a steamy diarrhea trainer.

  • JesperL

    Whats the point?
    You cant run og crouch.
    And you cannot use the controllers for any kind og combat or movement at all. They will be crushed against that railing.

  • oompah

    stuff for Arab sheiks
    ppl r happy with cellphone gaming

  • Lucidfeuer

    Nowhere usable yet, mainly for the inpractical bulk of it. Virtuix Omni and the upcoming Kat have done it better already.

  • Super excited to see a growing interest in treadmills, here is the latest video of our Omnideck. Feel free to ask me any questions.

    • realtrisk

      Looks awesome! Very clever idea for the movement of it. Definitely not consumer equipment, though… looks expensive.

      • No we have always aimed at having our Omnidecks installed in Arcades, imagine 10omnidecks, 5 v 5 now that would be cool!

  • According to this video the tracker seems part of the tracking