Exercise and in-game locomotion

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--Will--
Contributor

Exercise and in-game locomotion

For those of us who wanted to use VR for exercise (with semi-"natural" walking/running movement), now that VirtuIX's Omni is no longer being offered for sale to regular consumers, Cyberith's Virtualizer is still vaporware, and other treadmill-like equipment is either still in development, too impractical for most homes,  or too crappy to consider, that doesn't leave us with many options. And simply walking in place looks and feels kind of awkward (though it may end up being the only solution for a while).

 

So if/when I get my VR rig this year (leaning heavily toward the Vive), I was thinking of setting up locomotion by combining a stand-up elliptical machine with the Vive's (or other) sensors so that I can map foot movement to forward & backward movement controls. That at least could allow me to move around within a game world by walking/running, and assuming room on whatever elliptical I use, perhaps crouching & sitting as well (would need another sensor for that, right?).

The main problem I see is turning. I think sidestepping can probaby be faked well enough that it won't matter too much if the movement isn't exactly the same, but actual full-on "turning" seems problematic. Obviously, actually turning on an eliptical machine isn't possible without rigging the machine to be placed on some kind of revolving platform that responds to hip swivel in some way, and something tells me that would be pretty complex to set up (I'm no engineer). Turning one's head to turn into a new direction in the game at first seems like a possible alternative, but then you'd need to be able to face forward again without actually turning back again in the game (and without making yourself queasy!), so I'm not seeing how that can be made practical either.

 

Anyone have any ideas on how this could be made to work? Thanks in advance!

--Will--
Contributor

Re: Exercise and in-game locomotion

Actually, I think I may have found a solution, no elliptical necessary: Stompz

Only problem is that the Kickstarter failed, so I'm looking for something like it. I figure I could also put some kind of mat under me to help me keep my place in case I shimmy out of position.