VR and VR Accessories

I've been enjoying the Oculus Rift since early December, I'd never tried it before but have been interested since the Kickstarter campaign. I decided to take the dive based on recommendation from @Mr_Teatime (and it was $100 off at the time). He insisted I would enjoy Elite Dangerous with it and I did.

So I decided to dive deeper and ordered the Touch controllers, they arrived on the 24th. It's been the best Christmas present I've ever gotten, it added so much to the experience. The ability for the capacitive touch surfaces to have 4 states (off, near touch, touch, and press) made it very easy to pick up things and form hand gestures. They feel comfortable in my hands and the button layout feels smart, even for somebody that hasn't owned a console in 10 years. I blew through the Oculus store trying nearly everything with touch support. My favorite games were Esper (Portal-like puzzles), and I Expect You To Die (Escape room style).

The Oculus Store needs some work. The main page divides them up into decent categories but there's no way to filter past that. Each item clearly shows the intensity, controllers recommended, and internet connection. The prices are a bit high for my liking. Games range from $3.50 to $60, as I would expect with a regular game, but the high dollar ones are mostly ports of other games that don't take full advantage of VR and the low cost ones are more of demos lasting no more than an hour. That said, the first round of AAA games are expected this year and look promising (Arktika.1, Lone Echo, and Star Trek: Bridge Crew to name a few)

I had family and friends over for an event mid January and decided to drag my pc into the living room and set everything up there. I managed to get even my 70 year old grandma to at least sit and look around the Oculus home screen. They loved the Dreamdeck demo and First Contact. Fruit Ninja, Toy Box, Dead and Buried, and quill managed to keep everyone entertained throughout the afternoon.

The more games and demos I play the more I notice the annoyance of moving around. Some games deal with it by not requiring you to move and bring the problem to you, it works fine depending on the objective. Other games use the thumb sticks to move, this is by far my favorite method because it feels most normal. This style is often looked down on because it can be nauseating, I've only had a little trouble keeping balance if I turn my body while moving (Ripcoil did make me fall over because the acceleration is way to quick). My least favorite, and what seems the most common, is teleportation. Pointing to a location and instantly being there can lower nausea, but in my opinion feels disorienting and cheap. "How do I dodge this attack? Oh, Just teleport out of the way . . ."

I started writing this because I've been looking into other forms of locomotion. VR 'treadmills' don't solve the problem, but they provide a (mostly) decent answer.

The Virtuix Omni is the most popular and has the most common style, it seems well made and has good tracking. However in tracking foot movement, it also limits movements like crouching. It also has the feeling of pushing your feet across the ground to move. Currently it's available for pre-order for $699. I've found many people that have built their own version for much less. The base frame is simple enough, though I'm not sure how they intend to do tracking.

Infinadeck style is a type of treadmill that moves under you. There are a few different prototypes but Infinadeck seems to require the least amount of pushing. This method is bulky and (there's no price listed) but I'd imagine much more costly than the Virtuix Omni.

AxonVR has a full body exosuit, definitely the most costly solution, but perhaps the most satisfying for movement, it also gives feedback like force, texture, and temperature. From what I've seen this project is the most ambitious and has the furthest to go before release.

From thinking about how I would go about movement in VR, I think some sort of swing that suspended you just above ground level or even had some sort of spring platform that your feet could rest on and would give the feeling of standing. I'm not sure about how to go about tracking short of something like a Sixense STEM System.

I'm hoping to get thoughts and ideas for VR games that I may have missed, other accessories I should consider, and your take on VR and VR 'treadmills'.


The people behind Virtuix Omni I believe have stated before that the military already has a version of the Virtuix Omni that allows crouching and jumping but it will not sold publicly for quite some time. However, despite not being able to do the crouching and jumping I really should get this when I can afford it as it gives me a fun way to exercise indoors. My son wanted one as soon as I explained to him what it was quite some time ago and also at this point I think it would be beneficial to him too in regards to exercise.

1 Like

Last I checked the Virtuix Omni is $499, not including the $242 domestic shipping. If I can find a good way to track it, I've got no hesitations about building my own.