Buyers guide: VR treadmills, the future of VR

Buyers guide: VR treadmills, the future of VR

Published: 28-04-2023
Updated: 05-05-2023

This article delves into the world of VR treadmills designed for both consumers and businesses. While it’s a relatively niche market, it’s becoming increasingly competitive as more companies enter the space. These VR treadmills don’t come cheap and are primarily aimed at hardcore VR enthusiasts and businesses.

Over the years different technologies have been developed to support the user and ensure their safety. Some VR treadmills use a bowl shaped surface on which the user slides their feet across with specialized shoes, these are also known as slidemills. On the other hand, omnidirectional treadmills employ multiple belts that keep the user centered while moving in any direction.

Slidemills

VR treadmills

KAT Walk C 2

The KAT Walk C 2 is a VR treadmill designed to enhance the immersion of VR gaming experiences. This innovative device allows users to physically move within the VR environment, providing a more engaging and realistic experience than traditional VR gaming setups. The KAT Walk C 2 is equipped with advanced sensors and software to accurately track the user’s movements, enabling them to walk, run, crouch, and jump within the VR world. 

Technical specs:

  • Max weight capacity: 130kg
  • Supported height: 1.55m-2.0m
  • Product weight: 54kg
  • Product size: 1.25m x 1.25m x 1.585m
  • Footprint: 1.2m²
  • Battery life shoes: 7 hours
KAT Walk C 2

KAT Walk C 2+

The KAT Walk C2 and KAT Walk C2+ both provide excellent VR experiences, but there are some important distinctions to be made. The KAT Walk C2 focuses on offering a seamless and immersive VR experience, whilst the KAT Walk C2+ incorporates an integrated haptic feedback system and a smart seating posture module for increased engagement within the virtual environment on top of what the C2 offers. Choose the KAT Walk C2 for a high-quality, immersive VR experience, or the KAT Walk C2+ for more advanced features and even more immersion.

Technical specs:

  • Max weight capacity: 130kg
  • Supported height: 1.55m-2.0m
  • Product weight: 57kg
  • Product size: 1.25m x 1.25m x 1.585m
  • Footprint: 1.2m²
  • Battery life shoes: 7 hours
KAT Walk C 2+

KAT Walk mini S

The KAT Walk Mini S is a professional VR treadmill created primarily for business uses such as VR arcades and industry training. This treadmill expands on the success of its predecessor by incorporating enhanced natural walking technology, haptic feedback, increased upper-body freedom, an upgraded control center, and a sleek hi-tech design. The Mini S provides a highly immersive and professional VR walking experience designed specifically for commercial use.

Technical specs:

  • Supported height: 1.4m-1.95m
  • Max weight capacity: 130kg
  • Product weight: 106kg
  • Product size: 1.535m x 1.170m x 1.476m
  • Footprint: 1.37m²
KAT Walk Mini S

In short, the KAT Walk Mini S is intended for commercial use, whilst the KAT Walk C2/C2+ is intended for personal home gaming setups. The Mini S includes commercial-specific features such as improved ergonomics for a wider range of activities, an integrated wire management system, and quick-boarding shoe coverings for efficient operation. The KAT Walk C2/C2+, on the other hand, emphasizes on compatibility with major VR systems and a compact design appropriate for home gaming situations.

Virtuix Omni One

The Virtuix Omni One is a VR treadmill designed for home use. Currently beta units are being shipped to early investors. Not much is known about this treadmill since it is still in development. Out of all treadmills, the Omni One is definitely the most futuristic looking. Walking, running, crouching, kneeling, jumping and strafing in VR has never been as easy. The 360° rotation fully immerses you into the game while keeping you safe from potential hazards. When buying the Omni One you will also receive the Pico Neo 3 with it with over 30 games supporting the treadmill at launch.

Technical specs:

  • Supported height: 1.42m-1.95m
  • Max weight capacity: 130kg
  • Product weight: 70kg
  • Product size: 1.12m x 1.4m x 1.4m
  • Diameter of the treadmill: 122cm
Virtuix Omni One

Virtuix Omni Pro

Much like the KAT Walk mini S, the Virtuix Omni Pro is created for businesses therefore it is not possible to purchase the treadmill as a consumer. To simulate walking and running, the Virtuix Omni utilizes a concave platform. The platform is used in conjunction with special shoes that provide very minimal resistance (similar to bowling shoes). The Virtuix Omni is extremely wear-resistant; the only maintenance required is that the platform is cleaned daily with a microfiber cloth and re-greased every now and then with a silicone layer.

Technical specs:

  • Supported height: 1.45m-2m
  • Max weight capacity: 130kg
  • Product weight: 114kg
  • Product size: 1.23m x 1.1m x 0.77m
  • Footprint: 1m²
Virtuix Omni Pro

Omnidirectional treadmill

Infinadeck

The Infinadeck is a unique treadmill designed for virtual reality experiences. It allows users to move in any direction, at any speed, without hitting any physical barriers. The treadmill is essentially a treadmill that moves in all directions, creating an immersive experience for the user. It consists of multiple belts which rotate around the X- and Y-axis, together they are able to keep the user centered while walking on the treadmill. This treadmill was used in the VR inspired movie “Ready Player One”.

Technical specs:

  • Supported height: 1.2m-2.5m
  • Max weight capacity: Not Available
  • Max speed: 9.66km/h
  • Product weight: 255kg
  • Product size:  1.3m x 1.7m x 0.4m
Infinadeck

Conclusion

VR treadmills offer a unique and immersive experience for virtual reality enthusiasts. These devices allow users to walk, run, and move freely in a virtual environment, making the experience more realistic and enjoyable. While there are several VR treadmills available on the market, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, they all represent a step towards creating a more immersive and interactive virtual reality experience. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more impressive and innovative VR treadmills in the future. Eventually these treadmills will become more accessible and affordable for consumers.