Ekto VR has unveiled a prototype of a robotic shoe that allows the user to move around in virtual reality while staying in place in the physical world.
According to the developers, the Ecto One boots are light enough as they are made of carbon fiber and provide safe walking in VR without a harness. At the bottom, they have two rotating plates that respond to data from motion sensors and move the foot back when walking, creating a sense of movement when actually stomping on the spot. When the user stands still the device uses a brake to prevent slipping.
Although the Half-Life demo video reveals the obvious shortcomings of the existing prototype. The VR gear set with boots becomes even more cumbersome, which can make users feel uncomfortable. In addition, in order to avoid falling, the movements must be slow and careful, which does not go well with the instantaneous reactions of the players to various virtual events..
Therefore, the EktoVR team continues to improve its development and plans to enter the market only in 2-4 years. Although boots are not ideal, they can significantly improve the safety of the process of movement in the virtual world, at least until such equipment is replaced by interfaces that connect the brain directly to the computer..
Robotic boots for safe movement in virtual reality invented
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Ekto VR