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Input Devices Games Hardware

Omnidirectional Treadmill: The Ultimate FPS Input Device? 292

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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  • This, if any of you remember, is one of the key items of the Star Trek holodeck. The Technical manual showed users on an omnidirectional treadmill (probably using forcefields rather than an actual treadmill), which the holodeck routed to wherever there was space if there were more than one user and they were in different locations of the program.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:18AM (#43513623)
    Just a slippery surface while wearing slippery shoes. The idea has been around since at least the 1990s [youtube.com].

    Real omnidirectional treadmills [wikipedia.org] exist, first started as a DoD project. You can walk naturally on them, as demonstrated here [youtube.com] and here [youtube.com].

    It's still debatable which method is superior or more practical.
  • by RenHoek ( 101570 ) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:19AM (#43513625) Homepage

    The problem is that the guy is carrying a 'gun' but you're still aiming with your head (i.e. the Oculus).

    This has been done better before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQR49JGySTM [youtube.com]

  • Re:FYI (Score:4, Informative)

    by ldobehardcore ( 1738858 ) <steven.dubois@gE ... m minus math_god> on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:49AM (#43513691)

    Just the rough Numbers:

    • Mountain Dew (pepsico) has, per 20oz: 290 kcal, 100mg sodium, 77g sugar, and negligible vitamins and minerals
    • Gatorade Orange (also pepsico) has, per 20oz: 130 kcal, 270mg sodium (electrolytes it's what plants crave!), 34g sugar, 75mg potassium (biologically and chemically very similar to sodium), and negligible vitamins and minerals.
    • Doritos (Frito/Lay) has, per 1 oz: 140 kcal (70 from fat), 8g fat (1g saturated fat), 210mg sodium, 16g carbs (1g from fiber, 0g from sugar), 2g protein, and trace Vitamin A, B, and Thiamin
    • PowerBar Performance Energy Chocolate (Nestle) has, per bar: 240 kcal (30 from fat), 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 200mg sodium, 45g carbs (3g from fiber, 25g from sugar), 8g protein, 70%dv Vitamin C, 25%dv Calcium Iron and B6, 15%dv Thiamin, 10%dv Riboflavin.

    Gatorade and Mountain Dew only differ in sugar concentration. The difference in salt is relatively unimportant. There's a significant difference between powerbars and Doritos. #1 Doritos are much cheaper, #2 powerbars have nutritive value, while Doritoes are edible product and not really food.

    If you ate as much by weight in power bars as people typically do in doritoes, you will be both overfed, and have a pretty bad time on the toilet.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:09AM (#43513999)

    It has nothing to do with the uncanny valley. The uncanny value is a non-proven theory about how we perceive humanoids.
    What we are talking about here is regular motion sickness. We use a lot of senses to keep track of ourself with regards to the environment. When does thing no longer add up there is a risk of "feeling pukey".
    Dumbing down the graphics is not going to help at all, your eyes will still tell you that you move forward when your sense of balance says that you are not. (And jumping will give conflicting inputs. Focal depth will not correlate with distance and so on.)
    Some people even get this kind of sickness from 3D-movies.
    Dizziness the first couple of times you use it is expected but it should wear off after a couple of times when your brain gets used to it. Otherwise basic motion sickness pills might help.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright