Virtuix’s Omni virtual-reality platform is getting some competition from the Kat Walk Kickstarter project. Kat Walk is another omnidirectional treadmill (Fig. 1) designed to be used for virtual-reality games and applications and it is used in conjunction with 3D virtual-reality glasses such as Oculus VR.
The omnidirectional treadmill requires special soles on your shoes to provide the right amount of slippage so you stay centered on the platform. Kat Walk incorporates a high-friction material that works with the constant rolling friction of the shoes to provide a more natural walking feeling.
You also get to wear a harness. The harness provides additional movement sensors to the virtual reality environment. This approach eliminates the need for a ring or column around the user and provides natural orientation within the virtual world. It is possible to jump and kick as the harness moves with you. The harness also allows different modes such as sitting.
Kat Walk’s specs are impressive. It also comes with a hanging chair (Fig. 2) so the unit can perform double duty instead of being packed up between gaming sessions. Kat Walk may not be a holodeck, but it could bring virtual reality a lot closer.
Watch "Run, Jump, Move Freely with the KAT WALK Omnidirectional VR Treadmill", courtesy of Engineering TV, below: