Kat VR, a China-based company known for their crowdfunded Kat Walk VR treadmill, are hitting Kickstarter again soon with a new design that promises to accommodate smaller spaces.
The company says their new Kat Walk Mini has “a much smaller footprint that can fit in any room whilst maintaining the open, non-restrictive design that allows for full range of movement for your arms and legs.”
Besides being smaller and lighter than the 2015-era Kat Walk, the new ‘mini’ design replaces the older wireless foot sensors with a laser sensor array set into the baseplate of the device, which is said to feature lower latency and provide more responsive input. Kat Walk Mini also features a redesigned guide bar system that pivots in place as you turn your body to face the desired direction. A “high strain shock-absorbing material” is used in the treadmill’s base, although we’re not sure how it differs from the original unit’s surface, or if that will require the user to user to don special low-friction shoes.
The original Kat Walk completed its first successful crowdfunding campaign nearly 3 years ago, garnering $150,000 from backers. The unit is a fairly large and heavy piece of kit though that, despite starting at an early bird price of $600, looked to appeal to mostly arcades and prosumers based on its fairly cumbersome size. Seeing a smaller, and decidedly more consumer-friendly version that incorporates some of the same freedom of movement is an interesting prospect to say the least.
“We decided to go back to our roots, to the same community that supported us initially, and that is why our next product will be launching on Kickstarter very soon. Since the product is still a prototype, we encourage the community’s involvement and feedback during the development process of KAT WALK mini,” the company told Road to VR
Kat VR is still staying tight-lipped on the specifics, as there’s still no official launch date or pricing structure yet for the Kat Walk Mini Kickstarter. We’re hoping for ‘soon’ and ‘not terribly expensive’.