Kickstarter backers will soon receive their long-awaited Virtuix Omni VR treadmills. Virtuix announced that the first containers of production Omnis are on a ship headed for the U.S. Virtuix expects to receive its inventory in November, which the company will distribute to U.S. customers.
Virtuix launched the Omni treadmill’s Kickstarter campaign on June 4, 2013. By July 22, Virtuix had raised $1.1 million, which far exceeded the $150,000 the company was seeking. Initially, Virtuix expected to complete deliveries to its backers by January 2014, but that turned into an impossible task due to production issues.
Over the past three years, Virtuix has refined the design of the hardware and ramped up its marketing campaign. Late last year, the company started shipping pre-production Omni units to a select group of “Pathfinder” product testers to finalize the production version. In July, Virtuix shipped the first 35 units that came off of its high-volume production line to early Kickstarter backers for a final evaluation before ramping up production. The first shipment of production Omni hardware left the assembly facility in China, bound for the U.S., in September.
Only U.S. backers will receive these units. Virtuix is still waiting for VAT registrations for international markets, which it expects to have before the end of the year.
When you order a product on Kickstarter, there’s no guarantee that you will actually receive your product, but if you do get it, you’ll often get a much better deal than retail. Kickstarter backers that bought into the Omni treadmill campaign got a great deal on the hardware, even though they had to wait for more than three years for it. During the campaign, the Omni All-In package included an Omni treadmill, Omni rack, one belt strap, and a single pair of shoes, and it could be ordered for $539. Following the campaign, Virtuix started accepting pre-orders through its website for $699 per unit.
Now that the Omni treadmills are in full production, Virtuix is preparing to transition away from pre-orders to a “build-to-stock distribution model,” which means your cost is going up. Virtuix didn’t say what the new price would be, but the company’s CEO, Jan Goetgeluk, said that “those who backed an Omni on Kickstarter or placed a pre-order afterwards will have received and excellent deal!” The new price should “better reflect Virtuix’s manufacturing and shipping costs.”
If you’ve been on the fence about ordering a Virtuix Omni VR treadmill, now might be the time to make the choice. Virtuix plans to introduce the new pricing model on October 10. You can still place a pre-order for $699 until that date.