KAT WALK: A Locomotion Solution For VR Gaming
Kat VR, Chinese VR company founded in 2013 group of VR SUPER fans ( in their own words! ). The Chinese VR startup focus on VR development and providing solution. KAT WALK is the KAT team's answer and solution to the issue with locomotion in VR gameplay.
KAT WALK is a omni-directional VR treadmill. An input device that captures user's body-motion and movement, analyze the data and maps it into virtual reality. KAT WALK aims to provide a strain-free movement and risk-free VR gaming experience!
KAT WALK is especially suited for FPSs and other applications in where you need to move around. You can control the in-game character with your own body, helping to increase immersion and decreases simulator sickness.
KAT WALK Provides An Alternative Design Solution To Tackle VR Locomotion Issue
The biggest difference between KAT WALK and other existing VR treadmills such as Cyberith Virtualizer, Omni Virtuix, and SpaceWalkerVR is that KAT WALK doesn't have a ring or column surrounding the player, which was there to protect the player from falling and tripping over while the player is unable to see the real world within the virtual environment.
Instead KAT WALK protects by putting you in a nest-like pouch, which will protect you while allowing you to move freely and safely without being constrained.
In order to provide a more realistic VR gaming experience, KAT WALK uses special high-friction material and the constant force of rolling friction by using special shoes to simulate real walking forces and human motion. This makes you feel like you are walking on real ground instead of sliding walk.
With normal friction, it is easier to keep balance and it will decrease the time it takes anyone to learn to use KAT WALK. KAT WALK uses a cambered base to transfer gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy, and to reproduce the movement locus.
KAT VR: KAT WALK Kickstarter Campaign
The KAT has launched a currently live Kickstarter campaign with a funding goal of $100,000 USD, and ends on August 22. According to KAT VR Team, although the prototype looks big, the team is putting all of their engineering effort to make the shipping version lighter and smaller to suit any home space!
The estimated shipping will happen in April 2016, the shipping version is said to have a 40 inch diameter and weighs about 165lbs. The support structure will be narrower and foldable. The material will be changed to Aviation aluminum alloy.
The base will be thinner and will be made of composite material. Some of the mechanical parts will be changed to electric parts to make it smaller. There will also be more modifications to the harness and shoes to improve the user experience. Here is the Kat Walk Kickstarter Page