Integrated Tracking, Omni Shoes, TRAVR
Happy New Year to you all! 2013 was an incredible year for us. Thanks to your support, we completed a successful Omni Kickstarter campaign and grew our company to a dedicated group of 17 virtual reality and engineering enthusiasts, with offices in Houston, Austin, and a COO in China. We’ve been working around the clock, and now, in 2014, we are set to bring the Omni to reality. We believe 2014 will become the year of VR, and we could not be more excited about the milestones ahead of us. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and for enabling us to make “Full VR” come true.
We promise you that we won’t rest until each of you can experience natural movement in VR with the Omni. For starters, we have some exciting news to share in this update!
Integrated Tracking Solution at CES
Our integrated tracking solution is complete and working great! We have instrumented the Omni base with 40 capacitive sensors that provide highly accurate and low latency tracking of both the user’s feet, allowing us to provide natural movement input to games: walk, run, jump, strafe, and step backwards, all in 360 degrees. The Omni base contains 40 sensors and 9 microcontrollers that process the data and send output to the PC via a USB cable. The result is an impressive reaction speed that boosts the accuracy and feeling of immersion while playing games with the Omni.
We are showing our technology for the first time publicly this week at CES – come see us at Eureka Park in the Venetian, Level 1.
Our final Omni shoes are ready! We are showing off the Omni shoes for the first time at CES. The design is unique, yet athletic and extremely comfortable. The shoes are soft yet durable, and will allow you to enjoy the Omni for hours without painful feet. More good news: we will be able to offer half sizes to all our backers and customers (shoe sizes 4-15)!
Note: we have not yet asked you for your shoe size, but will do so in the near future.
TRAVR and Developer Outreach
The TRAVR universe is taking shape! What started as a small demo game for the Omni has now grown in the past few months into an exciting storyline that will bring Full VR to life. Get ready to step in as TRAVR, a VR agent that is part of a shadow operations bureau in charge of cleaning up the darkest situations unknown to humankind. We are working with a AAA development team from Orb Interactive to develop a thrilling Omni demo highlighting the immersive power of full VR gameplay with the Omni. Even more: we decided to deliver not just one, but two TRAVR demo games (or "episodes") to our backers and developer community: one developed with Unity, the other with UDK.
In the meantime, we are getting ready to kick off our Developer Outreach Program to engage with game developers who want to create exciting VR games and incorporate the Omni’s new and unique motion functions into their games: matching the player’s walking and running speed on the Omni to the speed in the game; ability for the player to walk forward while looking sideways or backwards; positioning of the feet, and more.
To spearhead our developer outreach efforts, we are pleased to introduce Robert Brackenridge, our Director of Developer Relations. Robert will be your liaison for game developers, organizing developer events and tutorials and providing technical assistance with our SDK. If you are a developer and want to have early access to our SDK, be sure to drop Robert a line at Robert@virtuix.com. Keep a look out for Robert at upcoming tradeshows or events we attend in the future.
New Omni Videos
We finally found some time to create new demo videos of the Omni in use with some of the latest hot game titles. See Steve play Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4. The latest Omni prototype with our new Omni shoes enables smooth and natural walking and running gameplay, while also allowing for jumping, strafing, backwards stepping, and even sitting.
Call of Duty: Ghosts:
Videos coming up next: Arma 3 and COD Ghosts played with the Omni… multiplayer online. We will start announcing online game sessions where you can compete directly with our Virtuix team on the Omni. Stay tuned!
Omni In The Press
We had some great press coverage recently. Technology influencer Robert Scoble tried the Omni in his studio in San Francisco, and named the Omni “the must-have video gaming system of 2014.” See the full interview video here.
In December, we made an appearance on ABC’s SharkTank. While we weren’t the right fit for this type of investors, our appearance has proven to be a great opportunity to reach an even wider audience of gamers and has brought VR one step closer to becoming a mainstream medium. Mission accomplished!
We also won a few prizes recently: Virtuix won the main prize at both HATCH Pitch Houston and the Top Innovator Award at the Venture Summit in Boston!
Austin Office and Team Expansion
We’ve come a long way since our Kickstarter campaign. Thanks to your support, we were able to hire top engineers from all over the country to help us build a top quality hardware and software product. We opened a second office in Austin, the tech hub in the Southwest (and according to Forbes, the fastest growing city in the US). We’d like to hire more talented engineers to join our team and develop the next generation of virtual reality hardware and software. Interested? Check our openings on our job page here and send us your resume!
Backers, 2014 will become a monumental year for the Omni and for VR. We are excited about the road ahead, and we can’t thank you enough for your support.
Best wishes for 2014!
Jan and the Virtuix team