What makes a good virtual reality experience? It’s the level of immersion that transports you to another world or a futuristic fantasy where you are tasked with completing challenging or entertaining missions. Picking every element, puzzle, and objective is what makes or breaks a good or bad VR experience. Recent advancements in VR hardware and software have made it possible for developers to create high-quality video games that rival what was considered science fiction just 20 years ago. One of the most important elements of creating an amazing VR experience is the movement mechanics and controls implemented into the game. If there’s one thing that can ruin an otherwise great game, it’s slow-moving or teleporting from one point to another.
That is where a VR movement platform or system comes to the rescue. VR locomotion refers to the experience of moving around in the virtual environment. Locomotion can be achieved differently depending on which platform you use (for example PC vs. console vs mobile). Normally without additional VR movement solutions, you just roam through your room and walk, or you can use a gamepad to teleport within a small area. With a VR locomotion system, you can move by physically walking or running through the real world because it provides a solid VR walking platform. In this article, we are going to outline some of the most well-known solutions to VR locomotion and we will talk about the possible advantages.
Omnidirectional / VR Treadmills
If you have seen Ready Player One treadmill, you should already know what an omnidirectional treadmill is. An omnidirectional treadmill, or virtual reality treadmill, is a device that allows you to walk, run, or exercise in multiple directions at once, just like a Ready Player One experience. It is also an effective solution for those who experience motion sickness badly. With the increasing popularity of virtual reality technology, there's a growing demand for VR treadmills. They provide a safe and effective way for people to experience different kinds of exercise and motion without having to move outside or go to a gym.
VR treadmills are a form of virtual reality that's set atop a traditional treadmill. Staring at a monitor, you can walk or run using the controls on the treadmill itself, and the VR experience is projected onto the display. VR treadmills have been around for more than 20 years, but they're still relatively new to the market. As manufacturers try to work out kinks in their systems, they often tout their newest offering as "the perfect solution." But before you spend money on a new omni directional treadmill that has been around for only a few months, be sure it provides what you need.
As VR technology becomes more immersive and lifelike, it's becoming easier for people to imagine themselves using VR equipment in their own homes. Although the VR treadmills are cool, most of these devices are still relatively costly and require some assembly. It is hard to find an affordable VR treadmill since even a lower-end VR treadmill price can be $1,000 for the minimum. But if you don't mind the money that you spend on a good locomotion alternative, you may want to check them out as an alternative virtual reality game system.
Wearable VR locomotion and motion tracking devices are starting to come into the mainstream, but there's still a lot of confusion about what they are and how they work. At the heart of motion tracking is the assumption that we're not just standing still but moving around all the time. This motion generates data, which can be captured and translated into game or computer graphics. Motion trackers aren't new; they've been around for years in various forms. The concept has been adapted for virtual reality headsets, video games, and fitness applications. They sense your movements using inertial measurement units (IMUs). IMUs detect acceleration caused by movement and use that information to convert your physical movements into data for use in computer graphics or gameplay for VR movement.
Motion tracking is a key challenge for virtual reality developers and manufacturers. Without the ability to track position and orientation, humans would be left feeling like they were trapped in some sort of elaborate maze — or worse, being chased by an angry chicken. Fortunately, motion tracking technology has come a long way in recent years, and many new devices have been introduced that can help create the first truly immersive VR experience by providing VR full body tracking.