Kat Walk, the newest addition to the lineup of VR treadmills, has raised a total of $149,278, putting them well over their initial $100,000 Kickstarter funding goal. KatVR, the China based company behind the VR locomotion device, have announced that non-Kickstarter pre-orders for the device will be coming soon.
Kat Walk, however, is a little different (if you haven’t noticed from the picture), featuring an open, overhead support structure that according to KatVR “sets your arms and legs free,” allowing you to jump, run, and walk at full gait without fear of hitting columns. Also differing from VR treadmill forerunners is its high-friction surface, a feature that requires users to wear special wheeled shoes to operate. KatVR maintains that the walking surface and shoe combination “makes you feel like you are walking on real ground instead of [a] sliding walk.”
Having already achieved the $100,000 mark with three weeks to go, Kat Walk assumed a majority of the remaining funds within the last week of the project’s crowdfunding drive.
Reaching their $120,000-level stretch goal with less than a week before the close of the crowdfunding campaign, Kat Walk will now incorporate a folding wheel system in the body of the treadmill to make transportation easier, allowing for users to hide the wheels away when not in use. A white color option has also been added to the final design.
If you missed your chance at nabbing a Kat Walk via their Kickstarter campaign, the company has announced on their website that they will soon be taking pre-orders at $799 for the entire set-up that will come with harness, sensors, and a pair of their special wheeled shoes. Considering however that the company recently posted an update saying that they’re in negotiations with factories for mass production, it may be some time before pre-orders actually take effect.
Extra shoes for Kat Walk are currently advertised at a pre-order price of $29, with a special hanging chair attachment at $149 (not including shipping and handling).
We’ll be looking forward to get some up-close and personal time with Kat Walk to see if the company’s claims about natural walking gaits are true. Once we do, you can expect full report detailing our findings.