VR treadmill "Omni One" will launch for consumers this year - but is quite expensive
Virtuix is planning a consumer launch for the Omni One VR treadmill. With a price tag for enthusiasts only.
Omni One was expected to be available to consumers in 2021. Due to the pandemic, the launch has been delayed by two years.
Now Virtuix has announced that it started shipping Omni One units to early investors as a "prelude to a planned consumer launch later this year".
Here's how the VR treadmill works
Omni One consists of a circular platform over which VR players glide in special shoes. The movement of the feet is tracked by sensors and transferred to virtual reality. This creates the illusion of physical movement through virtual worlds. Several straps attached to a movable arm provide the necessary safety.
The Omni One is an evolution of the Omni Pro home arcade treadmill, but is lighter and more compact, and can be folded and stored when not in use. It also offers greater freedom of movement: Player can crouch, kneel, walk backwards and jump, as seen in the video.
However, the word "freedom of movement" should be taken with a grain of salt. Anyone who has tried VR treadmills like the Omni One knows that they restrict movement rather than promote it, due to the rigid structure that keeps players safe.
Virtuix Omni One has everything you need to play
Omni One is marketed as a "complete entertainment system". The product includes a Pico Neo 3 Pro and works without a PC or other accessories. It also comes with its own operating software that includes social features and its own game store with 30 launch titles.
The all-in-one package makes the product easier to use, but comes with less flexibility in hardware choice and a very limited app library. For example, the included Pico Neo 3 Pro headset is already outdated. A Pico 4 would have been a better choice.
The total package price is $2,595 plus shipping or $65/month on a payment plan. How big the market is for such a device remains to be seen. According to Virtuix, 35,000 people have expressed interest in the product on its website by subscribing to a newsletter.