travr virtuix omni vr treadmill game

The Virtuix Omni Kickstarter launched back at the beginning of June and is now 5 days from completion. The project recently crossed the $1 million mark (congrats!). As the Kickstarter for this omni-directional VR treadmill comes to a close, Virtuix has announced the retail price for the Omni and a last-minute stretch goal for an exclusive Omni game called TRAVR. We also have a brief Q&A with Virtuix CEO Jan Goetgeluk about the future of the VR treadmill.

Virtuix Omni Game: TRAVR

travr virtuix omni gameThe Virtuix Omni Kickstarter is just shy of $1.05 million as I write. The company has announced a stretch goal for $1.1 million which will help fund an Omni exclusive game called TRAVR (pronounce Trevor). Virtuix says that it will be “the first (mini) game made specifically for the Omni!”

“TRAVR is a totally immersive, open-source demo and Omni trainer utilizing the Omni SDK for motion control. You will be TRAVR, a futuristic VR adventurer who was been transported to an ancient planet. You must escape this hostile world in a limited time by finding a remote gate and utilizing a range of motion and control tactics. TRAVR combines real-time pressure of an arcade game with the immersion of the Oculus Rift, motion controllers, and the Omni.

TRAVR demonstrates the game dynamics of free move/aim/look with analog player direction and speed when using the Virtuix Omni. This demo will be designed to help developers integrate the Omni into upcoming VR titles using the most dynamic and compelling motion and control modes available today. This mini-game will be a test bed for innovative movement paradigms and will demonstrate coding methodologies. Most importantly, this game will be made for you, our backers, and we will listen to your input regarding elements you would like to see incorporated into the game.

Virtuix TRAVR will solve several problems including training new users in VR on the Omni, stretching the limits of immersive VR gameplay, and demonstrating how the Omni SDK can create innovative gameplay modes easily adopted by developers. TRAVR will be built in UDK and will be available with the release of the Omni,” writes Virtuix in their most recent Kickstarter update.

The two screenshots included in this article are the first glimpses the Virtuix has shown of the game.

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Virtuix Omni Retail Price Announced

Virtuix has also just announced the retail price of the Omni — post Kickstarter it will be $499. This means there’s good reason to back the Kickstarter: the $429 tier will save you $70 off the retail price and you’ll help them meet their stretch goal! Post Kickstarter, you’ll be able to order the Omni through the official Virtuix website.

Early birds who jumped on the Kickstarter right away were able to get the complete Omni for $349 — unfortunately all of those slots have since been filled!

Q&A With CEO Jan Goetgeluk

virtuix omni minecraft oculus rift
Road to VR: Congratulations on reaching the $1 million mark, did you ever think you’d make it this far?

Goetgeluk: I always believed that the Omni would appeal to a large audience, but our current Kickstarter success certainly matches my wildest expectations.  We are incredibly grateful for the support of our backers, and excited that we are now able to make the Omni a reality.

Road to VR: Has there been anything surprising about the Kickstarter, such as the geographic distribution of backers or the most popularly backed tiers?

Goetgeluk: We were excited to see the success of the Omni Matrix [a set of four Omnis] and the Duel Omni [a set of two Omnis], as well as our high end reward tiers which are all sold out. As a geographical fun fact: the city with the most backers is not US based, but is London. The second city with most backers in Europe is Oslo.

Road to VR: Now that the Kickstarter is a guaranteed success, what’s your next move?

Goetgeluk: We are already working hard on getting the Omni manufactured. I have two China trips lined up in the next 2 months. We also started the production of our Priority Prototypes, so we are well on track to deliver these units on time.

Road to VR: What will happen to the Omni post-Kickstarter? Will I be able to Amazon Prime one to my house or pick one up from my local Best Buy?

Goetgeluk: Not yet. After our Kickstarter, the Omni will be available for pre-order on our website for $499, so our Kickstarter backers are certainly getting a good deal. We will assess our long-term retail and distribution options in the next couple of months.

Road to VR: How much interest in the Omni is from consumers vs. researchers?

…even Dreamworks bought an Omni.

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Goetgeluk: We certainly received a lot of inquiries from research institutes, especially for the Priority Prototype. We also sold quite some units to corporations: military contractors, fitness companies, arcades, … even Dreamworks bought an Omni.

Road to VR: Has anyone approached you about the Omni from industries that you didn’t expect?

Goetgeluk: Physical therapy has turned out to be a highly interested market.  Exercise is drudgery for many people, so making exercise more engaging is appealing for physical therapists and other healthcare professionals.

Road to VR: What’s the best experience currently available on the Omni?

Goetgeluk: I found our Multiplayer Minecraft demo the best experience so far, because it illustrates the incredible potential of VR: meeting up with different people around the world in the same virtual world, and going on an adventure together. Multiplayer VR with the Omni is a game changer.

Road to VR: To what extent will you work with developers to get finely tuned Omni-ready games? [For this question, Goetgeluk referred me to the latest update to the Kickstarter]:
We have made substantial progress in the last few weeks refining our SDK architecture. Our API will provide game developers with analog motion direction (including strafing, backwards walking, jumping), analog walking speed, and foot position.
Road to VR: How is the progress on your standalone tracking system for walking? [For this question, Goetgeluk referred me to the latest update to the Kickstarter]:

When we started this Kickstarter, we were in advanced stages of using accelerometers / magnetometers in the shoes, which is a great and low-cost solution that has been proven to work. Since our Kickstarter success, the world has opened to us, and other companies have reached out to us with alternative tracking solutions that might be even better than accelerometers in the shoes. We are currently evaluating two alternatives, and it looks like the final decision will not be buttoned up by the close of the Kickstarter. Whatever solution we choose, we guarantee that it will deliver a great VR experience that supports our outlined SDK functionality.

Goetgeluk also held an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Reddit yesterday about the Omni where you’ll find even more answers to fan questions.

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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."
  • kijutsu

    I got mine for 349$! Can’t wait to see how it’ll all turn out (tracking.)