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Input Devices Games Hardware

Omnidirectional Treadmill: The Ultimate FPS Input Device? 292

Posted by timothy
from the pricey-but-cool dept.
MojoKid writes "The concept of gaming accessories may have just been taken to a whole new level. A company called Virtuix is developing the Omni, which is essentially a multidirectional treadmill that its creators call 'a natural motion interface for virtual reality applications.' The company posted a video showing someone playing Team Fortress 2 and using the Omni along with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. You can see in the video how much running and movement this fellow performs. With something like the Omni in your living room, you'd likely get into pretty good shape in no time. Instead of Doritos and Mountain Dew, folks might have to start slamming back Power Bars and Gatorade for all night gaming sessions."
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Omnidirectional Treadmill: The Ultimate FPS Input Device?

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  • Dream on. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slackware 3.6 (2524328) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:13AM (#43513463)
    The whole point of gaming is to sit on your ass and avoid the elements drink caffeine till you shake and eat a dehydrated cow. If I wanted exercise and shooting I'd go play paintball.
  • FYI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:17AM (#43513471)

    Mountain Dew and Doritos are not substantially different, health-wise, from Gatorade and PowerBars.

  • Re:Dream on. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jatoo (2393402) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:31AM (#43513505)

    I would be far more inclined to have a game on this than to organise paint ball.

    Paint ball involves pre-planning, showering, dressing, leaving the house and worst of all, IRL friends.

    This I can pick up any time.

    Plus, looks like a lot more fun than going to the gym.

  • Re:Dream on. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:34AM (#43513513)

    Paintball is expensive. Personally, if I want exercise, I go for a bike ride. But if I wanted exercise *AND* shooting (and also the feeling of killing people rather than spraying brightly-colored dyes on their clothes), I'd absolutely LOVE one of these treadmills.

  • by Vintermann (400722) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:48AM (#43513551) Homepage

    Very cool, but your inner ear is going to break the illusion - just as your retinal muscles are going to remind you that it isn't quite depth you're seeing with that stereoscopic headset.

    Progress of technology - new ways of getting motion sickness!

  • Re:Dream on. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apothem (1921856) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:19AM (#43513627)
    You forgot to mention the part where you have to deal with getting shot and/or getting hurt while running for cover in the middle of a match. If I couldn't play paintball, this would make for a decent second possibly.
  • Re:FYI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B1oodAnge1 (1485419) on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:24AM (#43513755)

    The difference in salt is relatively unimportant.

    The difference in salt is of primary importance since the purpose of Gatorade is to provide those salts that are lost during the natural process of perspiration.
    You're also ignoring the caffeine present in the Mountain Dew and not in the Gatorade.

    Gatorade is far from the healthiest choice of beverages to be swilling down in large amounts, however it is substantially different nutritionally than Mountain Dew, and your comparison is lacking in my opinion.

  • by twisteddk (201366) on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:17AM (#43514221)

    As are kneeling, crawling, zooming, jumping. backpedaling, activating stuff (opening doors etc.) and other functions. I would also venture a guess that rotation gets done a lot quicker on the PC than on a treadmill as I didn't notice the kid moving much more than 40-60 degrees in any direction in a hurry. I'm guessing because the system is slow or inaccurate in response to this type of movement.
    And I'm sure I can "easily" win using these techniques, when fighting someone who hasn't got those options.

    While it may just be a matter of integrating these functions into the controller (possibly in the gun), these are lacking, and often used functions. I also see some limitations in that it would probably be difficult to integrate this into tank/airplane/helo movement, for vehicles, and chutes, ropes, ladders and ziplines in other games. But for a customized game this would be nice. Unfortunately I have seen too many controllers that only support a few games die because they lack the option to be used in other games. Light guns, VR goggles, the 360 orb, the gaming glove and a few others spring to mind (Yes, I have spent far too much cash on gaming, I know)

    I'd love to back the development though, and will definitely sign up for the kickstarter when it goes public. I'd also love to buy one of these eventually.... But I doubt my GF would let me keep it....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:14AM (#43514765)

    However, given that in most games, the player is doing things he wouldn't be able to do in real life, simply trying to translate real-life controls into the game isn't going to work.

    I see that as a plus. I'm sick of FPS multiplayer games where the other players are hopping around like damn rabbits and doing headshots in mid jump. Crap like that is why I no longer play most online multiplayer games.

  • Re:Dream on. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Monday April 22, 2013 @11:56AM (#43516077)

    playing on one of these things will cripple you compared to a mouse + keyboard or even a controller

    And it can't happen soon enough. Specifically for us network engineers, getting rid of Superman will solve a LOT of problems. An avatar that can run at 70MPH forever, stop in an instant, and turn 180 degrees in a millisecond causes all KINDS of grief while trying to deal with 70ms of internet ping time. When the motion of avatars are tied to physical bodies, with real physical limitations, and the mouse+keyboard and controller crowd are then forced down to real world behavior, a whole lot of internet latency can be concealed.

  • by VorpalRodent (964940) on Monday April 22, 2013 @12:04PM (#43516141)

    War is the ultimate FPS. But that's the most expensive version of all.

    Resetting at the end of a match is also significantly more difficult.

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup

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