Solution to virtual reality’s locomotion problem

You can now move propel yourself through virtual reality space without actually moving through real space.
Locomotion, one of the toughest challenges to overcome for virtual reality. Some VR users experienced motion sickness when they are playing VR as they move in the game while their bodies remain stationary in the real world. That is why many games provide teleportation option to prevent you from moving through the virtual space.

However, there are still some locomotion issues. When you move around in the physical space you have set up for virtual reality, sometimes you may accidentally step out of bounds while playing VR. And even if you pay attention to the boundary warnings, you may need to move back to the centre of VR area constantly, which is quite tiring. Therefore, Ekto VR is attempting to solve these problems with robotic boots.

Virtual reality boots: Ecto One

Ekto’s VR boots go by the name of Ecto One. It allows you to physically walk through virtual reality but won’t physically move through the room you are in. The boots let you walk in the place, which is a bit like robot magic.

Below is an example of someone using robot boots while playing Half-Life, a virtual reality game. You can see they are taking steps in real life but they are not moving much in the room.

How does it work?

When you lift one foot forward, the boot rolls your foot backwards around the same amount. It is like walking on a treadmill but in robot boots. The player is taking steps in the virtual reality, but they don’t move much in real life. It can prevent them from walking face-first into the wall or furniture and hurt yourself. It can also prevent motion sickness hopefully as the players are taking real steps while moving through virtual reality.

Downsides of robotic shoes

First and foremost, there will be a bunch of VR gear strapped to your head and feet, making virtual reality even more ungainly. Besides, if the game requires you to move quickly in combat, or need to crouch, kneel or even crawl, it is quite inconveniencing to move with giant robot-boots strapped to your feet. The boots also make you taller, which can lead to disorientation and make it harder for you to judge where the floor is in the real world.

In addition, if you lose your balance while playing, it is quite tough for you to get up with those boots on.


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  1. This company’s solution to VR locomotion: huge robot shoes




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