Locomotion Simulators Bring A More Engaging Augmented Reality Technology

Gaming
Locomotion Simulators Bring A More Engaging Augmented Reality Technology PHOTOGRAPH: Flickr/Digitas Photos | Under CC BY 2.0

The advent of augmented reality is ramping up. Currently, there are devices that allow people to see the virtual world in their own eyes. Additionally, there are platforms functioning as a locomotion simulator, allowing users to move around, giving them a seamless and immersive experience.

Here are the top three locomotion simulator platforms available:

Virtuix Omni

The Virtuix Omni is a locomotion simulator mainly used for virtual reality games. The Virtuix uses a platform to simulate the motion of walking, which requires special shoes to reduce friction. The platform works in conjunction with the Oculus Rift and other VR headset. The platform allows the players to walk or run during the game.

In 2013, the Kickstarter campaign of Virtuix became of the of the ten biggest technology Kickstarter campaigns. It raises $1.1 million in funding. From then on, the Virtuix raised another $8 million from both private and institutional investors. The surface of the platform is bowl-shaped. Users must have special low-friction shoes to operate it. The inertial sensors track the player’s position, the length of their stride and the speed of their movement. The sensors send the information to a computer, translating it into game movements.

Cyberith Virtualizer

The Cyberith Virtualizer is an omnidirectional treadmill. It has sensors that detect motion in virtual reality applications. Austrian company Cyberith GmbH was responsible for the development of the Virtualizer.

The idea for the Virtualizer started with Tuncay Cakmak. He studied at the Technical University of Vienna where started the test and development of his first prototypes. In 2013, he founded the Cyberith and formed a team to further help with the development of the device. He demonstrated the Virtualizer in various exhibitions in Europe. He also reached out to the community via the Cyberith’s Youtube channel. A Kickstarter campaign started on July 23, 2014. In the first 24 hours, they made more than 50 percent of the goal of $250,000.

The Virtualizer enabled motion for the user through the principle of low friction. The body is fixed in a ring where the user can rotate and move vertically.The combination of the head-mounted display allows the users to move, run, crouch or jump in virtual worlds. The current prototype of does not require a special kind of shoes.

Infinadeck

The Infinadeck is a treadmill that can move in various directions in two dimensions. It allows users to endlessly move around in a virtual reality world. George Burger created the prototype of the device after he watched his son play Call of Duty a few years ago. He thought that his child should be moving around instead of sitting while playing a virtual battle. The latest development for the omnidirectional treadmill is the new Infinadeck Mark II, which Burger showcased at CES 2016.

The Infinadeck sets itself apart from the other platforms due to the motorized components, rather than a passive low friction surface. Some users who tested the device stated that the platform gives a realistic walking experience.

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