Kat VR, the China-based company known for kickstarting its original Kat Walk VR treadmill in 2015, is once again returning to the crowdfunding platform to launch a new product later this month, this time serving up a VR treadmill called ‘Kat Walk C’ that promises to appeal to at-home consumers.
Kat Walk C appears to be a slimmed-down version of the company’s 2018-era Kat Walk Mini treadmill, offering its signature low-friction parabola and equally slippy footwear, making for a slick surface that simulates walking whilst in VR.
A rear-mounted vertical harness lets you stand and crouch, and keeps you in place while walking, running, or strafing, the company says.
Kat VR says its latest VR treadmill offers what it calls “natural walking posture support,” which if true would be a notable achievement. VR treadmills take time to get used to; the low-friction parabola in conjunction with IMU-based shoe trackers can feel more like pushing yourself through a virtual scene than simply walking normally.
Like its other enterprise-focused VR treadmills, Kat VR says it’s designed Kat Walk C as an “independent controller”, allowing it to work with any SteamVR game with free locomotion on major VR headsets such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Pimax, and Windows VR. The device is also said to be compatible with Oculus Quest via Link, and with PSVR via an additional adapter.
The Kat Walk C campaign is slated to arrive sometime in late June; early-bird prices are set to start at $700 + delivery fees. There’s no word on what price Kat Walk C will hit once the early bird tiers are all gone though, or what the final MSRP will be when all is said and done.
In any case, it’s encouraging to see Kat VR offering up a more reasonable price point that consumers (or rather prosumers) might actually afford. In 2018, Kat Walk Mini was originally supposed to hit what the company called at the time an “affordable” price point, however the device was revealed to cost $1,500 at its cheapest, and that was with the 50% discount for early bird customers. Kat Walk Mini was subsequently pulled from the crowdfunding platform due to the company securing outside funding.
We’ll be putting out a more in-depth article on the upcoming Kat Walk C Kickstarter campaign, so make sure to check back for more soon.
Update (3:30 PM ET): German VR publication MIXED has created a video including all available gifs of KAT Walk C in action. Check it out below: