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Omni VR Treadmill Could be Your Next Home Gym [Video]

Virtual reality startup Virtuix is building a VR treadmill for your home. The Omni One is an elaborate full-body controller that lets you physically run, jump, and crouch in place.

Following an earlier business- and arcade-focused device, it’s supposed to ship in mid-2021 for $1,995, and Virtuix is announcing the product with a crowdfunding investment campaign.

The crowdfunded Virtuix Omni started development in 2013. It’s not a traditional treadmill — it’s a low-friction platform that’s used with special low-friction shows or shoe covers and a harness.

As an Omni One prototype video demonstrates, the device basically holds you in place while your feet slide across the platform, and that movement gets translated into a VR environment. We’ve tried earlier iterations of the Omni, and it’s an awkward yet fascinating experience.

The Omni One is more compact than its predecessors, anchoring users to a single vertical bar instead of a ring around the whole treadmill. You can also fold it up and put it away.

It will play games from a dedicated store that’s supposed to launch with 30 titles. Virtuix doesn’t have a full list, but it plans to feature third-party games alongside experiences it develops itself, with the latter category including games similar to Fortnite and Call of Duty.

The retail Omni One will be a self-contained system with a standalone headset — it’s being tested with a Pico Neo 2, but Virtuix will decide which headset to use for retail in the coming months.

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