Virtuix has been around for just about as long as Oculus itself, with a 2013 Kickstarter for its landmark VR treadmill Virtuix Omni bringing in over $1 million from backers. Now the Texas-based company is back at it again with a new at-home VR treadmill it hopes to jumpstart with the help of a community-sourced investment, the Virtuix Omni One.

Omni One is a consumer version of the Omni that Virtuix says is optimized for home use, including a light frame, foldable body for easy storage, and a freedom of movement that boasts walking, running, crouching and jumping. All of this is done by moving your feet on a low-friction parabolic surface that requires special low-friction shoes.

In contrast to the company’s commercial Omni, which it sells to location-based entertainment facilities, the consumer version has done away with the support ring, but there’s a few other things that have changed too.

With the Omni One package, Virtuix says it will include a standalone VR headset, which in the promo material is a Pico Neo 2. Granted, users can also connect Omni One to a PC and play PC-based VR games using their own headsets, however the company is putting forward a complete package that “just works out-of-the-box,” Omni CEO and co-founder Jan Goetgeluk says.

Image courtesy Virtuix

Although it’s uncertain precisely which standalone headset will ship with Omni One, the company will be pitching their own app store with games guaranteed to support the VR treadmill. This comes part and parcel with an obligatory monthly subscription called ‘Omni Online’ for online play, similar to Xbox Live and PS Plus.

Unlike most crowdfunding campaigns, which typically work as pre-orders, Virtuix is accepting reservations from interested parties via a Regulation A funding campaign. The company has been testing the waters for such a crowdfunded equity investment ever since the US government eased investment rules via the JOBS act, which allows the general public to invest in private companies.

Image courtesy Virtuix

That said, the lowest possible investment is $1,000, which incentivizes people with a 20% discount when buying an Omni One system ($400 discount) or Omni One dev kit ($200 discount). Investing in the first week will double that discount, coming to a total of $800 off the Omni One or $400 off the Omni One dev kit.

Virtuix says Omni One is slated to release sometime in Q2 of 2021 priced at $1,995. According to The Verge, the developer kit will sell for $995, however it will lack access to the Omni game store and the included VR headset.

SEE ALSO
Kat VR Secures $1.6M in Kickstarter Funding for Its Consumer-grade VR Treadmill

Having tried the original commercial Omni several times myself over the years, and also its main China-based competitor Kat Walk VR, it’s safe to say that using these type of low friction VR locomotion devices can definitely be awkward at first. It’s not exactly comparable to walking naturally, as you slide your feet forward and forcefully turn against the weight of a constrictor bar (or in Omni Pro’s case a support ring) to turn in-game. I’ll admit that I don’t own any such VR treadmill though, both for the associated price tag and space requirements, however it’s clear Virtuix is trying to change that here with its new, slimmed-down Omni One.

And it seems the early bird investment strategy has worked fairly well so far. At the time of this writing the company has already made it halfway to its overall minimum goal of $1 million. You can check out more funding tiers and specifics around the investment crowdfunding campaign here.

Check out the company’s SeedInvest campaign pitch below:

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  • James Cobalt

    If this is at all better than the heavy-duty Virtuix Omni… it still won’t be good enough for most people. And their all-in-one approach may sound smart to an investor, but the reality of the market is people looking for that kind of simple solution aren’t going to drop $2,000 (on top of any computer expenses); they’ll get a $299 Oculus Quest 2.

    WHO the heck is this for? Not newcomers. Not people who recently bought a VR headset. Not hardcore VR gamers willing to drop serious dough (no support for Index controllers or premium headsets). Maybe this was really intended for LBE venues but the pandemic got them scrambling for new markets.

    From a residential perspective, my first instinct is to position it as a premium fitness device, but even that feels too early for decent adoption and doesn’t address the often-nauseating user experience of this type of treadmill.

    • VR Cat

      The $1,995 is for the bundle that includes a standalone headset, so that’s not on top of the expense of a VR capable computer. People who already have a VR setup and headset can get just the treadmill for $995, and that’s before any discount they pick up for investing. It’s actually a really good deal, and cheaper than the Kat Walk C, which has fewer features.

      • James Cobalt

        Gotcha. So the idea is you’d only use this for their exclusive content? Is there any standalone content on the Pico Neo 2 for consumers? I thought it was all enterprise stuff unless you hooked up to a PC.

        The article makes it sound like it’s not possible for consumers to buy the treadmill at $995 – only developers. The discount there would be $200 but only if you ALSO invest $1,000 into the company.

        • VR Cat

          The Pico Neo 2 is not confirmed to be the headset that will come with it yet – they’re still looking at other options (more great standalones coming 2021). There are some great games in development for standalone headsets, like Ilysia (an MMO), but I don’t know what games will be on the store. They are working on emulation for SteamVR games. It can be done now, to play games like Fallout 4 VR and Skyrim VR, but it’s tricky to set up at the moment. It will be easier once they have the emulation software. I believe it’s called a dev-kit not just because it will be what a lot of PCVR developers will use, but also to get across the fact that the store is currently only for the standalone, so the treadmill-only option is more geared towards the VR enthusiast who’s not afraid to tinker a bit, use Steam, etc.

  • flamaest

    Memories are quite short apparently.

    Virtuix sold their first unit for HOME use and they abandoned their users. Their forums were shut down and good luck getting any REAL support. I have $1,000 virtiux paperweight in my house to prove it.

    PCVR is dying. This OMNI unit will need to be compatible with either a PSVR or the Quest. We’ve already played this Virtuix game with the first OMNI version and Virtuix choose to screw over their backers; or left us to only play from their terrible game library.

    The only real way that you can the 1st Gen OMNI working is to sift around archaic DISQUSS forums like a second class citizen, asking random questions to strangers
    [Not VIRTUIX !] in the hopes that you might actually get something working until the next Virtuix firmware destroys it.

    I WILL NOT BE PLAYED AGAIN BY VIRTUIX.

    • VR Cat

      PCVR is far from dying – look at Half Life: Alyx, and the popularity of Valve Index. Now Quest 2 is drawing a huge number of people into VR. Omni One will work with the Quest via the link cable, and you won’t have to use their store if you don’t want to. In my experience any game that has locomotion is only appealing with the Omni. It’s 1000 times better than using a joystick. Like some other companies at the time when consumer VR was almost non-existent, Virtuix had to pivot to the commercial market. Sadly as a consequence of that, the support wasn’t there for the few consumers who got hold of the Omni. It took patience to get some games working with it, but once you did it was amazing. This launch will be nothing like that. The consumer VR boom is here, it’s going mainstream. The support will be there, the emulation software is being worked on. Give it a chance, Omni One is going to make VR amazing.

      • flamaest

        Perhaps, but Virtuix lost me once they shutdown their forums. That was the final straw and a slap in the face. I will watch them do it again with this so-called ‘dev-version’. They will stop supporting them soon enough and the only ones standing will be the clowns which bought into their “Peloton” model; so only rich people will be allowed into the Virtuix ecosystem.

        • VR Cat

          I understand why you feel that way, but the forum was open for a very long time – even years after the switch to commercial to be fair. Maybe it just had too much outdated information or had been inactive for a long time.
          Really once you have emulation software there’s not much in the way of support needed. There’s also no reason to stop supporting the dev version – it’s the same version that will be used by developers to add compatibility to their games after all.

          • flamaest

            Maybe somebody can put together a decently written FAQ on how to get the 1st gen OMNI set up to play non-virtuix games, or provide a link to a web page that is “well organized”.

            What is available now is simply not clear and full of trial and error. This VR solution is too expensive to have to go through all the current effort. I will not be sifting through miles of disquss feeds with bloodshot eyes to figure this out.

          • flamaest

            No Quick reponse? Funny how I asked above for a setup-FAQ for the Omni w/3rd-party software, and ‘CRICKETS’…. THIS is exactly why we need to pass on this company.

          • VR Cat

            I’m sure there will be a setup F.A.Q. In fact there were guides available when it came out – but if I recall they were made before there were a lot of games that used the Vive touchpads, so there were no instructions on how to emulate that.

      • Josh

        The only possible way I can make sense of you promoting this product and Virtuix is either A) You’re a corporate plant or B) You’re just incredibly naïve.

        You can try to explain it away all you want, but the fact of the matter is that they cut off consumer sales entirely, dropped almost all consumer support, jacked the price up by 980% and sold only to commercial markets, mostly in China. Investing in Virtuix is out of the fucking question since most of their revenue comes from a country who’s government is actively engaged in genocide, and I am personally against genocide. Are you? Are you pro-genocide, VR Cat?

        And even knowing all of THAT shit, you still defend them? You still defend this product? I am calling shenanigans on your legitimacy. Nobody in their right mind would get screwed over, laugh it off, then go back two years later and allow themselves to be screwed over again, by the same company/person/thing. You have an ulterior motive and everything you say is suspect.

        I have an Omni. I use it all the time, and it’s nice. But I am not about to buy into this thing any time soon, not until Virtuix ceases its operations in China (Fuck China) and has a long track record of supporting the consumer market. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if they do exactly the same thing with the Omni One that they did with the original Omni.

        • VR Cat

          I’m not being paid to comment here and I’m not on the company’s payroll. There are lots of reasons for supporting them. They have a great product, they did the right thing by offering refunds (plus interest) to anyone who was affected by the switch to commercial, and this device will create and support American jobs, as well as jobs internationally.

          I’d question your assertion that most of their revenue comes from China or that they sell mostly there – if you go to Virtuix’s website and scroll down, there’s a map showing the locations of their commercial venues that suggests a fairly even distribution between North America, Europe, and Asia.

          Your stated reason for not supporting them is that they have business links in China – but lots of companies have some part of their manufacturing there. I’m sure you yourself sir own many products made in China and elsewhere in the world – even the Oculus and Valve headsets are made in China. You don’t believe this makes you complicit with the actions of their countries’ governments, and nor do I.

          I’m not happy with what’s going on in the world either, but I do believe that virtual reality has the potential to be a powerful way to address some of the issues we face.

    • You cant play Half Life ALyx anywhere else :D

      Or any Valve VR game.

  • Liam Mulligan

    I remember waiting months and months for the first omni and the goal posts kept changing. After 6 months i gave up and had to get quite angry to get a refund. It was then cancelled not long after. The payoff to walk awkwardely is no longer worth it imo.

    • flamaest

      I waited 3 YEARS to get mine delivered, then they left home users in the dust.

  • I live in Austin, and for years I wanted to try out the Omni hoping it would be an immersive locomotion solution, also help with motion sickness. When I finally got to try at the Pinballz arcade here, I was so disappointed. It did not feel like walking AT ALL and it was very nauseating. It feels like you are continuously slipping on ice but never fall. The motion does not match your feet and any dips in the terrain give a terrible dropping feeling that induces motion sickness immediately. Plus every time I’ve returned to the arcade, I have never seen a single person using their extremely expensive VR Arena. I mean it costs $15 to play so its understandable.
    Funny enough, the job I worked for was a Virtual Reality rental company, and I constantly told them what a let down the Omni was but they didn’t listen and went ahead and spent a butt load on one. So now it was my job to set the crap up and act like it’s the coolest experience ever.
    This tech is not even close to being ready for home use. There are so many bugs to work out, and honestly, I think omni directional treadmills are the wrong direction for VR locomotion to go

    • VR Cat

      Was it your first time trying it? Did you try again? Which game did you play? I don’t know why you felt you were continuously slipping, that’s not how it should be. Your feet are supposed to glide on the base, you should have full control. It sounds like the base was just too slippery for you. Too much polish being used while cleaning maybe? Anyway, in the home this is never an issue – my Omni is perfect every time I use it. In my experience the motion matches my feet quite closely and I have no problem going over hills.

      • I gave it multiple tries to make sure. I played the arena sports game and the zombie one from what i can remember. Perhaps it’s just people who have bad motion sickness but it definitely does not feel like walking

        • VR Cat

          Okay thanks, I was trying to think which of the games have dips in them. The zombie game is pretty flat from what I can remember, but Omni Arena does have ramps. That one can be pretty intense, so I always recommend you play it in decoupled mode, which is more natural. In coupled mode it’s possible to get nauseous, as your avatar is going in the direction you’re looking, not the direction your hips are facing.

      • Nosfar

        I owned one check the omni forums I posted as Nosfar. That is exactly what it feels like slipping on ice trying to find balance and making motion sickness worst (I suffer no motion sickness normally 0 )reguardless of how often you play it. As well the burden of getting into one makes the friction of VR more then its worth. It was so bad after owning it a year and communicating with Jan personally I threw it in the dump because I could not in good conscience sell it to someone else. That being said this product seems to address a lot of the issues I had. But once bitten.

        • VR Cat

          Did you have the old version where the harness had legs straps? And were you using the dedicated shoes instead of the newer overshoes? Did you get the maintenance kit? That’s really useful for ensuring you have just the right level of friction every time, it’s what I use. There haver been a lot of changes, and together they make a big difference to the experience. In a way it was sad that any of the old version of the Omni were let out into the wild, as it resulted in some negative reviews. The newer ones (including mine) are great, but few people have them because of the switch to commercial. I’m hoping that once Omni One is out and people are loving it, some of the people who had the early versions will give it a chance. They deserve to have the experience they dreamed of.

          • Nosfar

            No I did not I had the product they shipped to me for 400 plus the 1000 I spent on it. NOR did they contact me and offer any kind of replacement of parts though I was in constant contact with Jan. I was fairly known on these forums then and the Virtux forums and was never made aware if any replacements were available, But on that note they never told anyone anything until the few of us that actually remembered we had bought it started contacting friends in the non Vr gaming media and it started getting traction. As well I plan on being just as vocal this time around .

          • Nosfar

            And if I remember VRCAT did you not produce the YouTube videos for them until you hired on as a forum moderator and removed the videos. Several Skyrim and GTA 5 using Vorpex?

          • asdf

            yuppppp hmm so the one guy hired by them is the only one on here saying good things about them…. intersting.

      • James Cobalt

        My experiences with the Omni are exactly the same. And I’ve heard as much from others. It’s just not the right approach at a fundamental level.

    • LazyFox

      Thanks for the feedback, Andrew. I should probably just figure out how to get a larger house for more realistic locomotion in VR :)

    • Josh

      Well, you’re wrong about it not being ready for home use. I’ve had the Omni for two years and use it all the time. My only gripes with the thing involve the inability to crouch and how long it takes to get in/out of it. This is just the next logical iteration of the design.

      That said, I just don’t trust this company anymore. I doubt anyone that bought the original Omni does, in fact. After Virtuix finished up their kickstarter fulfillment requirements (where the Omnis were sold for $450), they cut off consumer sales entirely, dropped almost all consumer support, jacked the price up by 980% (to around $7800 USD + $1000 for shipping) and sold only to commercial markets, mostly in China. Investing in Virtuix is out of the question since most of their revenue comes from a country who’s government is actively engaged in genocide, and I am personally against genocide. As far as the product itself is concerned, I imagine they’ll do exactly the same thing as they did with the first, which seemed to work well for them. Their focus is not on you, the consumer. They want your money to produce a device that they can turn around and sell to commercial VR attractions in Chinese malls.

      I seriously doubt Virtuix would be willing to make a public statement refuting the above, or denying that those are their plans for the future. So, how the fuck can we trust anything they say? For anyone that’s thinking about buying it: don’t be surprised if you get screwed over. It seems to be their business model.

      Furthermore, even if I WAS stupid enough to trust them again, doesn’t their investment/discount scheme actually make the product MORE expensive? If 40% off the price = $800, then the Omni One will cost $2k. But, if I invest $1k to get the discount and then buy the actual product for $1200 when it’s available, then I’ve actually spent $2200 for it. So…what the fuck?

      • FuckNazis

        “In exchange for their investment, typical Series A investors will receive common or preferred stock of the company, deferred stock, or deferred debt, or some combination of those”

        Just to be clear.

        Note: THat’s from a google query, that wasn’t from the Virtuix seedvestment page

  • brubble

    Pfft, when are we going to move past this ridiculous piece of garbage?

  • mah. I’ve tried several threadmills and no one has really convinced me. Then they’re bulky and expensive, I think they don’t have potential for home usage. They work for enterprise use and LBVR though

  • sebrk

    It’s the additional store and the additional work from developers that’s keeping me from getting this. It would be a no brainer if it was just plug and play utilising existing frameworks. And then there is the subscription model. Finally Omni track record says it all. Pass for me.

  • Nicholas

    Is there no end to these treadmill launches?

  • Gary

    What’s the point of this if I can’t even run in my usual running gait? Long term use will likely cause muscle problems because of how restricted your movement is with the waist wrap and connected suit. I’ll consider one when comes a time it doesn’t require all these silly strap on which limits your motion.

  • Wow dude

    These things are too expensive to become mainstream.

  • Scooper

    I went from excited about the product to not caring about it thanks to the comment section.

  • frenchiebong

    This thing sounds more like a scam than have actual usability. The way the company treats its backer and such.
    I guess the only way to see some kinda workable treadmill is when the big companies does it. FB or sony may come up with something first before anyone elses.

  • Govris

    I have tried this once and did not like it. It felt very unnatural to walk.

  • HarrisFos

    Is Virtuix actually bankrupt?

  • Josh

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t trust this company anymore. I doubt anyone that bought the original Omni does, in fact. After Virtuix finished up their kickstarter fulfillment requirements (where the Omnis were sold for $450), they cut off consumer sales entirely, dropped almost all consumer support, jacked the price up by 980% (to around $7800 USD + $1000 for shipping) and sold only to commercial markets, mostly in China. Investing in Virtuix is out of the question since most of their revenue comes from a country who’s government is actively engaged in genocide, and I am personally against genocide. As far as the product itself is concerned, I imagine they’ll do exactly the same thing as they did with the first, which seemed to work so well for them. Their focus is not on you, the consumer. They want your money to produce a device that they can turn around and sell to commercial VR attractions in Chinese malls.

    I seriously doubt Virtuix would be willing to make a public statement refuting the above, or denying that those are their plans for the future. So, how the fuck can we trust anything they say? Don’t be surprised if you get screwed over. It seems to be their business model.

    Furthermore, even if I WAS stupid enough to trust them again, doesn’t their investment/discount scheme actually make the product MORE expensive? If 40% off the price = $800, then the Omni One will cost $2k. But, if I invest $1k to get the discount and then buy the actual product for $1200 when it’s available, then I’ve actually spent $2200 for it. So…what the fuck?

  • Ethan

    “Omni one will include a subscription based model.” Alright I’ll just wait for KAT, they want us to drop 1k (Which is for sure worth it), and then subscribe to use their device. Not a chance for me at least.