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Cyberith Virtualizer

Cyberith Virtualizer Delayed

In August 2014 Cyberith ran a hugely successful Kickstarer crowd-funding campaign for the Virtualizer, a locomotion device to be used with virtual reality (VR) experiences. The company ended up raising some $361,452 USD towards the production of the kit, which sees users stand on a platform, strap on a harness and then run around in VR environments as if they were really there. The first shipments of the device were expected to go out to campaign backers in March 2015, however Cyberith has recently announced a delay to its schedule.

Virtualizer 3_1

The Virtualizer is now expected to ship in August 2015. The company cited multiple reasons for the delay that ultimately led it to realise the initial shipping date couldn’t be reached. A number of changes have been made to the device to accommodate other peripherals. The ring attached to the user, for example, has been adjusted to ensure compatibility with Sixense’s STEM system motion controllers. The tracking system integrated in the pillars has also seen a makeover. The company is even hiring more engineers to help finish the kit ‘as quickly as possible’.

“Unfortunately, sometimes tasks might take longer than you originally thought, especially if you want to do them right,” the company wrote in a Kickstarter update. “Developments of the last month have finally led to a point where we have to admit to ourselves and our backers, that our estimated shipping date for the Virtualizer might have been too optimistic. We want the Virtualizer to be finished just as much as you guys, but it has to be done according to our standards though, as we are sure you agree.”

VRFocus will continue to follow Cyberith’s progress with the Virtualizer, reporting back with any further updates on it.

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  1. It seems to me, very surprising that the aluminium ring in the harness on the virtualiser would produce any significant change to the magnetic field and disturb the ability of STEM positional tracking system to function. If the magnetic fields in STEM are that strong that they can produce any measurable electrical current (and therefore a countering LENS effect magnetic field in the aluminium ring), then surely anything nearby with electronics in it, like, say a computer in the vicinity, could be similarly affected? Should I worry about wearing a belt with a metal buckle? I’m sure the real reason for changing the aluminium ring in the virtualiser to a plastic one, is a mainly a cost saving exercise. What I would actually prefer, as a backer of this product, is that they ship the sturdy looking prototype which has been demonstrated to work with other systems such as PrioVR. Still, it does give me more time to find room for the thing, if and when it finally does ship.

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