VR Shoe Project (early feedback)

Hi. I have been on this forum for a few years, 5K backer, now waiting for 8KX.

I thought this would be a good place to get some feedback…

I’m developing motorised VR shoes, sort of a omni-directional treadmill alternative.
I will be posting more videos as I continue to build upgraded hardware and improve performance with better software & tracking.

https://youtu.be/qZHepHJAHvQ
(The video seems loud but my DSLRs Mic was maxed out and my video editing skills are none existent. I would say the noise is comparable to a regular Gym Treadmill).

I plan to have a basic website towards the end of the month, mainly describing the development plan and intended specifications.

I will investigate options for a battery pack and a wired power version, where the cable would move and always stay behind the users back; this would be built into a fold away safety barrier.

The current prototype supports a fast walking speed and incorporates it’s own tracking system. This version (in theory) should be able to correct for 2-3 side steps. Each VR shoe can rotate ‘on the spot’ like a tank, so if a user side steps to the edge of the play-area, the users feet would be gradually rotated and speed adjusted so the user is steered back towards the centre of the play area; I’m still working on the algorithms for this (so not yet tested).

I have designed a CAD model for a version that can do full strafing (unlimited side steps), but would be heavier, unfortunately I haven’t had time to build it. Please let me know how important you think it is to have full strafing capability? Do you often side step more than 2 times or ~0.8m?
Stopping and turning direction, or gradually turning direction is not an issue.

There is a lot of work to do and i have a full time job so progress is slow when putting in 1 day a week. I would like to commercialise a product and my main design aim above all else is to keep the cost low, the current BOM cost is $300 for the whole system. I would not want to retail for more than $400; that’s the aim. Would anyone buy this?

I will post another video towards the end of the month and I’m hoping it will show all-round improvement - more responsive, better speed control etc.

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Wow this looks really cool!

Is this similar to what this guy has been working on?
https://youtube.com/watch?v=J5Ducwiaz8o

You should try to figure out how he made his run wirelessly, unless the wires are on the floor.

Another option is to tape the wires to your legs or have them run underneath your clothing.

HI! Great work! impressive… you should maybe consult someone for you’re price structure… unless you only want to do a small limited batch. 400$ seem low for a 300$ BOM.

Hi, thanks. perhaps you’re right about the price structure, but I got a long time to figure that out if I get that far, the $300 is for a prototype, for volume production the BOM cost would be a lower than that, possibly $200 or less.

There is only power going to each VR shoe, eventually, this could be a battery or the wire would be managed as I suggested in my first post.

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Sounds good! You should look into that other guy and maybe consider working with him. I think he’s been trying to patent the technology but he hasn’t provided any updates since 3 months ago. He plans to have a demo at CES 2021 and the first products delivered by end of 2021

Which quite frankly is a long time aha. Hopefully you’ll have your product consumer ready before then.

The lower the price, the better it is for mass adoption. It would be a great leap forward for the future of VR and $400 sounds reasonable.

There are quite a few people trying to develop this kind of tech, and many more that tried and gave up already. There isn’t much info on the WIVR system, so really difficult to compare. I’m sure of one thing, there are many different approaches and there will be pros/cons, limitations of each.

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That’s true. Keep us updated on your progress! I would buy your product :slight_smile:

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Oh wow…this is…WOW!

Great!

Congratulations, very cool work.

One straf is already good, 2 is enough.
If under 500€ I would buy this right away yes.

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This works a lot better than I thought it would. Honestly this type of system might be better than treadmills, but it’s just so hard because people weigh so much and the shoes are small.

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Wow, you should put this on kickstarter immediately.

i’m surprised you came to pimax forums first with this.

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I thought I would start in the back corner of a small forum… not sure I was ready to get on reddit…

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Ideally, the BOM (including packaging) and assembly costs (labor) should be <= 50% of the retail price, according to what I was taught in school. Remember that everyone wants a cut: the credit card companies, the retailers/e-tailers, and middlemen. I urge you to find additional cost savings, in order to have a successful product.

Oh, and I think those shoes are quite cool, but unfortunately, not something I would buy, due to the kinds of VR games I play (seated).

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I also play seated games, flight sims etc. but I would like to spend more time playing games like alyx and fallout, but for me, none of the options for locomotion are good enough, teleportation and 45 deg turns break immersion and there need to be better solutions for people willing to spend a little more on their VR hardware (that don’t take up a whole corner of a room). The $300 is what I spent so far on the prototype, the actual cost of parts at higher volumes may be $150-200, assembled and package cost ~$300, this is just a guess. The point I was making is that if such a system could retail for $400 as a target, then it would be more likely to succeed. It might be closer to $500, but $600 is pushing it in my opinion, that would be too expensive.

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This is very interesting, hope it can be the product.

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Wow very impressed!

Does it feel ‘comfortable’? I guess by that I mean reasonably natural, so your chosen walking movement is not over-compensated for by the motors? Or do you have to keep thinking about readjustment so you don’t fall over? :slight_smile: Sorry I don’t know much about VR motion systems, but your movement looks pretty natural…

Look forward to further updates keep up the good work :+1:

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I’ve tried the kat slippy slidy thing and cybershoes, and to be quite honest the best “VR locomotion” system I’ve actually discovered so far is VirtualLocomotion - which can use 2 old mobile phones, or a pair of Switch controllers… running on the spot unimpeded by extra equipment actually feels more immersive than any of the other “get in this” or “stick this on your feet” systems I’ve tried.

I think it feels natural, the speed is controlled and I have not felt unstable while walking, I’m not wearing a harness or needing to hold anything.
There are some big improvements in the works, that will greatly improve how speed is determined, the responsiveness and comfort as well (allowing the foot to bend). I’m being careful with the ‘foot bending’ aspect as i’m trying not to implement in the same way as described in a google patent application.

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Let us pay in crypto to avoid credit card fees :wink: