Virtual Reality

"Virtualizer" lets VR gamers walk on the spot to move in the game

"Virtualizer" lets VR gamers w...
Virtualizer inventor Tuncay Cakmak tries out the system
Virtualizer inventor Tuncay Cakmak tries out the system
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The Virtualizer team members with their device
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The Virtualizer team members with their device
It is hoped that by using the technology, players won't experience the feeling of disconnectedness that comes with standing still in real life while moving in the game universe
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It is hoped that by using the technology, players won't experience the feeling of disconnectedness that comes with standing still in real life while moving in the game universe
Virtualizer inventor Tuncay Cakmak tries out the system
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Virtualizer inventor Tuncay Cakmak tries out the system
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Remember when you were a kid, and you used to go sliding across the floor in your stocking feet? Well, researchers at Austria's Vienna University of Technology have developed a virtual reality gaming system that brings those sock-sliding days to mind. It allows players to walk on the spot in the real world, causing their character to walk across the ground in the game.

Known as the Virtualizer, the pulpit-like device incorporates a disc-shaped low-friction floor plate, and a belt that is linked to three vertical columns.

The player slides their sock-clad feet around on the plate, simulating the walking or running gait that they wish to achieve in the game. Sensors in the plate detect the speed at which their feet are moving, and moves their character around in the game at that same speed.

It is hoped that by using the technology, players won't experience the feeling of disconnectedness that comes with standing still in real life while moving in the game universe
It is hoped that by using the technology, players won't experience the feeling of disconnectedness that comes with standing still in real life while moving in the game universe

To change direction of movement in the game, the player simply changes the direction they're facing within the Virtualizer – sensors attached to the belt detect the orientation of their body. Real-life jumps or squats also make their way into the game, as arms extending from the belt to the columns allow vertical movements to be tracked.

It is hoped that by using the technology, players won't experience the feeling of disconnectedness that comes with standing still in real life while moving in the game universe – additionally, it should allow users to get some exercise.

The Virtualizer should be commercially available sometime next year, although a price has yet to be decided upon. It can be seen in use in the video below.

Source: Vienna University of Technology

Virtualizer

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6 comments
yrag
Nice. Well done Vienna University of Technology!
Bene Bones
Looks a lot like the virtuix omni to me except not as aesthetically pleasing and without the cool omni only shoes.
Ninja DM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtuix_Omni did it first
Nathaneal Blemings
I think they have a good point about the exercise, they could really make games or programs that make people want to actually get up and walk/run.... play a first person shooter type game.... Or maby a program where you walk around and explore environments... slowly we are getting the point of full immersion virtual reality. I hope we get it before im an old man.
Floris
This is an improved version of the omni. With the omni you have to buy shoes for everyone who wants to play on it (in different sizes) and eventually you have to buy new shoes because they will wear and tear. With this device you only have to buy new socks... and everyone with his/her rocking socks on can play. Also with this device you can jump and squat (close to a crouch), makes it more realistic to play. On the omni you can only do a weird kind of small jump movement and not squat at all. Besides running and walking on a flat surfaces seem a bit more natural instead of running in a plastic bowl shape .. i cannot remember the last time i did that... The exercise part ont both devices is really amazing. Can't wait!
Brad Dean
Now if they could only simulate flying along with walking/running. That would be cool!