Running in VR strikes with the help of a controller is a thing if the past. KAT VR is launching what they call a treadmill that is virtual and omni-directional. They recently released a video with the details of their Kat Walk mini. This invention looks like something that will get everyone super excited. It also seems to be compatible with platforms from most of the major runners in VR.
There is a platform that attaches to a back support that rotates. The platform is square and has a width of 4.9 square feet. The back support stands tall to about 5.2 feet. There are sensors in the support as well as at the foot. These sensors track the locomotion and also the rotation of the player. So this can easily take a 6.5 feet tall person. The Kat Walk can also endure upto 286 pounds of weight. The mini comes with a surface similar to a trampoline. It has shock absorbers which help players in walking around easily and also jump, skip or hop with comfort.
The Kat Walk mini differs a lot from the company’s earlier version. There is a substantial decrease in the weight of the product. The mini is just 187 pounds as opposed to the original’s 421 pounds. This means more than half of the difference. It is shorter though. The earlier version was 4 feet taller but the mini sports a back support like a basketball hoop. As much as it may look similar but the similarity ends there. There is a vast difference in the execution of the two. The mini is way ahead in terms of technology.
There are a whole lot of technology advancements in the Mini. The Kat Walk mini uses the latest technology. There is a sensor that does not need to be in contact with the player. Despite that, it gives amazing accuracy in tracking the foot location with a much-reduced delay time. To add to that the foot sensors don’t require charging or pairing. They use the power from the machine directly. This is a super advantage for the mini. Charging becomes a major setback when engrossed in a game.
The Kat VR team assures compatibility with everything. This includes the headsets from Vive by HTC, the Playstation VR the Oculus Rift and the Windows Mixed Reality. The developers will be provided with an open SDK. So support seems much simpler. The games that already support free locomotion like Resident Evil 7 or Doom VFR are already running on the Mini.
The only questions are the price and the availability. Kat VR has done this in the past. In fact, they have shipped even larger product versions. The company claims that the price of the mini is going to be affordable. They want the average gamer to be able to afford it. We will know for sure once they announce the prices.
Kat Walk mini will be lower than their original which was around $600. Kat VR is known to be behind in the early shipments. They have previously done so. But they do deliver their products and that should be remembered. Kat VR has encouraged people to check the official page of the product regularly for updates.
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