Take any popular movie about virtual worlds and they’ll likely have the protagonist physically running around using all manner of contraptions. Here in the real world, a proper metaverse walk requires some serious equipment, namely an omnidirectional treadmill, and Kat VR has been making these for a while. Today, the company has announced its next treadmill iteration, the Kat Walk C2 and C2+.
Having focused most of its efforts on enterprise-level hardware, Kat VR turned its attention back to the consumer market a couple of years ago with the Kat Walk C. This new generation of omnidirectional treadmills aims to improve upon its forebear by making its locomotion experience even more natural and easier to use.
For the first time, Kat VR plans on releasing two models, the base Kat Walk C2 and the slightly more enhanced C2+. These 2nd-gen units will still feature a one-size-fits-all design but will see improvements to the custom shoes for that improved walking experience, improved “Trunk-Tilt” support to enhance in-game actions thus allowing players to easily lean forward and crouch deeper; and reduced component resistance. This should mean action like turning or moving up and down is smoother and less noticeable.
When it comes to the C2+ there are two additional features; Integrated Haptics and a Sitting Posture Module. The integrated haptics will activate upon stepping or they can be combined with the controller’s own haptics so that events like an explosion will be in sync – which sounds very cool. As for the Sitting Posture Module, this is kind of self-explanatory, sit down whilst being able to walk in VR. But it does go a step further, with a switchable Vehicle Simulation Mode. Sit down whilst driving a vehicle and when combined with the haptics can simulate various conditions like different road surfaces.
Just as with previous models, Kat VR will be launching a crowd-funding campaign to bring the Kat Walk C2/C2+ to market. A Kickstarter will begin on 14th May 2022 starting at 7 am PST, offering a remarkable early bird price of $698 (approx. £550 GBP) for the KAT Walk C 2, and $898 (approx. £710) for the KAT Walk C 2+. Quite the saving considering the current Kat Walk C retails for $1,499.00.
The Kickstarter will end on 6th June looking to raise $300,000 USD. The aim of the crowd-funding campaign is for marketing and promotion instead of needing money to build the VR treadmills. Kat VR already has a strong history in this space and it expects to ship the first Kat Walk C 2 units out in July.
For continued updates on the Kat Walk C 2 campaign, keep reading gmw3.