New Omnidirectional Running Simulator VR
The device covers an area of about 3 square meters and is equipped with an omnidirectional treadmill that allows you to physically walk or run freely in any direction while remaining in a fixed position. Gates01 is also equipped with its own special VR headset, tactile vest, robotic feedback and motion capture gloves, allowing you to feel the sense of touch in VR.
StepVR claims that its device can “restore vision, hearing, touch, smell and vestibular balance in the virtual world,” although at the moment it is unclear exactly how the device will provide tactile sensations. In the video released by the company, you can see the Vive Tracker mounted on the user’s back. Most likely, it is used to track the user’s position while walking on a treadmill.
As for the VR headset, the company used a design called pancake optics to reduce the overall size and weight of the device while maintaining a solid 4K resolution. According to founder and CEO Guo Cheng, the headset weighs approximately 150 grams.
According to the company, this system not only provides a more immersive experience compared to other omnidirectional treadmills, but also a more comfortable and natural experience. In the presented video, the company claims that anyone can learn to walk on this device in just a few minutes.
In 2019, StepVR launched Future Battle, an esports brand dedicated to expanding the competitive VR scene in China. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has opened more than 140 stores over the past three years, and 60 more partner stores are planned to open. Gates01 will be launched simultaneously at participating VR centers in Europe, Japan, Korea, the Middle East, North America and Singapore in October this year.
In the future, the company plans to launch in 2023 an improved version of Gates01, designed specifically for individuals and families. According to the company, this consumer-friendly model will be 50% smaller than the original, and also much lighter, which will allow it to fit into cramped spaces such as a home, gym or office.
“Entertainment and education are the cornerstone sectors for the metaverse,” Guo told the South China Morning Post. “Our goal is to create the next generation of hardware for home computing platforms that will appear after the smartphone,” adding: “Without poking at the screen of a tablet or smartphone, but entering the metaverse through an avatar, you can run, touch things, even smell.”