I’m a little nauseous and a bit sweaty. This was my first time using the Oculus Rift. It’s the sort of thing you’ve got to ease into, really — sitting stationary, letting your brain adjust to the whole experience. Or you could just pop the thing on and run in place on a treadmill in a downtown Los Angeles hotel suite. Your call, really. Just don’t come crying to me when you’re having a bit of trouble standing up straight, as you attempt to step down from the slippery surface at the end of your session. Have I seen the future? Hard to say, of course, but whatever it was that just happened was neat — and if you were one of the 2,000 or so folks who got in on Virtuix’s Kickstarter, it’ll be heading your way in January.
The company’s CEO, Jan Goetgeluk took me through the paces of the system, a stationary design he settled on after toying around with a more traditional treadmill model. The Omni is really quite a simple thing at its heart, a concave, slick surface attached to two bars that converge in a circle. The company’s designed special soles, as well — plastic pieces raised at the heel and ball of the foot, with a fabric friction surface on the toe. Walk around and your feet slip. That’s about it, really. Of course, it takes some getting used to, and Goetgeluk stood aside as I learned to walk again: lean forward, step down on the heel and let the rest of your foot slide with it. It took a few minutes, and I’m still not exactly an expert