VIRTUAL REALITY FOR YOUR FEET
The VRWalker aims to solve one of the trickiest engineering challenges in the virtual reality industry: how do you walk around in VR?
Specifically: how do you walk around in VR without running into things?
"Virtual Reality" is a pretty great name for sticking video displays in front of your eyes, but it can be better thought of as "Hybrid Reality," as you are definitely still in the real world at the same time (at least for the foreseeable future). The real world environment is likely to have furniture in it; and walls, glass, possibly a stairwell - all things that you could run into, trip over, break or fall down. There are a myriad of dumb ways to hurt yourself in any given environment, and if you go walking around wearing a VR headset you are going to eventually discover all of them.
People have a visceral need to be able to walk around in VR. It's the most natural and familiar way that we navigate environments. It is fundamental to our evolution, the way that we think, the way we work and the way we communicate with each other.
Walking in VR has other advantages too, beyond just feeling right.
It frees your hands. You don't have to press buttons to move around. You can do more interesting things with your hands if you can just wander around in VR.
Various teams have been working on the locomotion problem, but none of them have really solved it in a complete way.
Our solution has always aimed to be a "no compromise" solution. We saw the possibility of using a retaining ring, and discounted it. We wanted to build a solution that feels just like real walking, on a flat floor.