Virtual reality – is it a fad or the future of video games? I certainly don’t know the answer to this question, but there’s no doubt that copious companies out there are viewing it as a serious upcoming contender in the gaming scene. We already have a host of headsets on their way, but that’s not all. KATVR is one Chinese company that has decided to take things to the next stage with a massive device to allow for free walking through virtual spaces. It’s worth noting that this is not the first device of this nature either, with Virtuix Omni also out there. With that said, the methods they’re using to solve the problem of “walking in VR” are different.
In Kat Walk, players don’t have to worry about a great big ring around their midsection which may inhibit movement or even get hit when they flail their arms around. Instead, the Kat Walk offers a suspended harness and a base which is far enough away that you are unlikely to hit it accidentally. Both do require special shoes, though. Why? Well, the thing is that recreating walking by basically having players “slide” on a curved surface simply doesn’t feel natural by itself. With special added-friction shoes, you are able to feel like you’re actually walking or running.
As the Kat Walk is made with VR in mind, it doesn’t appear that you can actually use it without a virtual reality headset such as the Oculus Rift. With that said, the device itself claims to be compatible with most games which utilize gamepad or keyboard support. The $100,000 goal is already more than 50% attained. Interested? There are still a few more $499 tiers open, after which folks will need to pay $599 for this massive VR device.