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First Virtuix Omni Treadmills Leave Production Facility, Price Hike Imminent

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. 

  • memadmax
    Start walkin, fatty.

    ^.^
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    I'm still never going to buy one (despite being a VR enthusiast), but it would be cool if these things could show up in VR arcades.
    Reply
  • Jeff Fx
    I'm the market for something like this, but I just can't see this being a better experience than room-scale + teleport.

    This puts you right back in a situation where your inner-ear knows you're not moving when the world around you is. Being strapped in, scuffing your feet on the floor seems a lot less natural than running around a room.

    I guess this could be useful for extremely space-limited people, but then it's going to take up space when not in use, which would be a problem in a small apartment.

    I would have gone for something like this if room-scale didn't happen, but now it seems like a throwback to '90s VR.
    Reply
  • jaber2
    18668135 said:
    Start walkin, fatty.

    ^.^

    Buy me one, I need to lose 40 Lbs
    Reply
  • squashguy1
    @JEFF - this is a common misconception about the Omni. In fact it does give your inner ear the acceleration it needs to think you're walking. Thanks to the harness, you lean forward when you want to walk forwards, backwards to walk backwards, etc. The head movement experienced as you lean is enough for the vesitbular system to detect acceleration. The problem you speak of does apply to other locomotion systems such as the Wizdish and 'run in place' where there is no harness and you stand perfectly upright. The Omni lets you run - otherwise impossible in a room. It also means no more chaperone lines and no more reliance on teleporting - both hugely damaging to fun and immersion.
    Reply
  • anbello262
    When I build my house in 2 or 3 years, I'm gonna make sure to leave a room specially for VR, with Omni most likely.
    Reply
  • alidan
    18668459 said:
    I'm the market for something like this, but I just can't see this being a better experience than room-scale + teleport.

    This puts you right back in a situation where your inner-ear knows you're not moving when the world around you is. Being strapped in, scuffing your feet on the floor seems a lot less natural than running around a room.

    I guess this could be useful for extremely space-limited people, but then it's going to take up space when not in use, which would be a problem in a small apartment.

    I would have gone for something like this if room-scale didn't happen, but now it seems like a throwback to '90s VR.

    I see it this way, in the example of that one shooting gallery game
    you get to move around an at best 10 foot by 10 foot area,
    omni will get you to enter the pick out your guns, then head back into the range, and shoot, all in just as much space as the omni takes up.

    the biggest issue would be you are taking out the whole duck and cover game play you can get with current vr games
    Reply
  • Jothay
    I tried this at a convention they were participating it, you actually still have plenty of crouch and squat play, but if you are trying to recreate Gears of War back to a short wall it doesn't really do that.
    Reply
  • kryojenix
    I notice that Cyberith Virtualizer's facebook page has become active again, promoting shopping centre demos in a few cities around the world. And there are some press materials on their website. But no information about pricing or availability. It looks like an overall slightly better system than Virtuix Omni, but without any info on when and how much, what to do? ...
    Reply
  • alidan
    18672741 said:
    I tried this at a convention they were participating it, you actually still have plenty of crouch and squat play, but if you are trying to recreate Gears of War back to a short wall it doesn't really do that.

    there's not enough to have a lot of fun with dodging games like the space pirate trainer or hover junkers, sure you can probably get look around a corner or slight ducks with this, but its not the same kind of movement that would make those games really fun.

    the space required for them is also why im 100% convinced room scale is going to die, we will have some form of treadmill going forward, it may be possible that a suspension system becomes the highest end vr setup, though how it would work i don't know.

    room scale, as in actual room scale, will happen in the future when room mapping and wearables are more advanced.
    Reply