Virtual reality headsets, such as the Samsung Gear VR, are becoming more commonplace as manufacturers augment hardware, researchers improve technology, and designers create more virtual experiences. But if you want full-body virtual immersion, treadmills are one way to go. And the latest omnidirectional treadmill, the Kat Walk, provides greater freedom of movement with less constraints.
The Virtuix Omni is one of the best-known VR treadmills, launching on Kickstarter in June, 2013. There are other virtual reality treadmills either under development, such as the Cyberith Virtualizer, or in prototype phases, such as the Space WalkerVR. But the common aspect of each of these is that they resemble an adult-sized baby walker. The Kat Walk takes a different approach, by ditching constrictive rings and excessive harnesses.
There are no rings or barriers to hinder movement, so users are free to gesticulate body parts without fear of smacking against something. The built-in harness system is designed to accommodate different body shapes while supporting weight up to 308 lb (140 kg). While other virtual reality treadmills require users to remain standing, the Kat Walk permits sitting, making it ideal for racing or aviation games.