It’s been a long wait for the Virtuix Omni omni-directional VR treadmill, but the product is finally in full production and will soon be delivered to Kickstarter backers. The very first backer already has his already.
Virtuix launched its Kickstarter campaign for the Omni in June of 2013 with the expectation of fulfilling backer’s orders starting in January of 2014. There were several delays amounting to two years of setbacks. But today, Virtuix announced that things are finally rolling. Fred Wood is the name of the lucky first recipient, and the company said it held a small celebration at the man’s home upon delivery.
"I've always wanted to run around in impossible, virtual worlds," said Wood. "Virtuix has developed a product to make that possible, and I can't wait to start running on my Omni."
Virtuix said that it received over 4,000 pre-orders for the Omni, which it will fill after it gets units to the early backers from the Kickstarter campaign. The company said it will be delivering 50 units in January, with the rest to follow.
To celebrate the full launch of the Omni, Virtuix is holding an eSports event at CES featuring the Omni and its companion game, Omni Arena. Players will compete in the first ever “active VR” eSports event. Spectators will be able to follow along thanks to the live shoutcasters covering the competition.
"CES marks the first time that consumers will see Omni Arena, a competitive, multiplayer arena shooter demo created specifically for VR and the Omni," said Robert Brackenridge, Director of Games at Virtuix. "We feel bringing e-sports and VR gaming out of the chair and adding an active physical component creates an extra layer of excitement for both competitors and spectators."
The event will take place during CES at Virtuix’s booth on the show floor. The company said it will have the Omni on display and available to try first hand. There will be units available to try with both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Virtuix said the Omni is compatible with the leading VR HMDs and is available for pre-order. A single unit is priced at $699.99 and includes everything you need for one person to get started. The platform requires special shoes to use. The shoes come in 12 different sizes and are available for $59.99.
Kevin Carbotte joined Tom’s Hardware in early 2015. He writes GPU and VR hardware reviews and contributes to the news channel in the areas of computer graphics, water cooling, VR and other immersive technology. Kevin’s personal interests include technology advancements, fast cars and collecting video games that he doesn't have time to play.