Virtuix raises $2.5 million with its mini IPO, which will go toward its Omni active VR system

Virtual reality allows you to experience anything a developer can come up with. Sights and sounds are brought directly into your headset, and you can just sit on the couch and take it all in. Controller support and other peripherals allow you to interact with your virtual world, but you can still remain mostly stationary. For those who want to immerse themselves further in the fantasy, there’s active VR. Virtuix’s Omni, a system that combines a treadmill, harness, and special shoes to give you a broad range of movement, allows you to run, backpedal, and even jump. Originally launched on Kickstarter in 2013, the company has now released a mini-IPO publicly, raising $2.5 million in the first 24 hours.

According to a press release, over 500 private investors, along with five institutional investors, have purchased shares, including 2020 Ventures, Scentan Ventures, Western Technology Investment, Tekton Ventures, and Scout Ventures.

“Virtuix is transforming the inherently limiting seated or room-scale VR setup to a fun, engaging, and social Active VR experience,” says Noriaki Okubo of Scentan Ventures. “We invested in Virtuix because they are the Active VR category leader with a passionate and driven team that is determined to revolutionize VR gaming, fitness, training and simulation, and many other applications.”

Historically, investors in private companies were vetted by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and approval was based on income and net worth. Only two percent of Americans were eligible for this type of investment. Thanks to new regulation under Title IV of the JOBS Act, which passed through congress in June 2015, the general public can now invest in private tech startups right alongside the heavy hitters. Virtuix is offering Series A preferred stock to the public at $2.33 per share as of this writing.

“We are thrilled to see the overwhelming response to our stock offering,” says Jan Goetgeluk, founder and CEO of Virtuix. “We are excited that our community can now participate in our financial future and be part of the next chapter of our story.”

We tried the Omni at CES, which was available with three FPS-style games. Armed with a virtual rifle, we made our way through one of these games and were impressed with the layer of immersion.

Texas-based Virtuix has raised over $9 million in private funding over the past two years. The VR firm has pre-sold more than 4,000 Omnis and started shipping units to customers in December 2015. With the new capital injection, the company seeks to grow (the team currently consists of 31 people) while further refining and developing its products and technology. Home and commercial applications can include entertainment, training and simulation, and virtual tourism. The Omni is compatible with leading headsets and is available for pre-order at $700. Virtuix is accepting investments through the online SeedInvest platform.

Cars

In Moab, Jeep isn’t just having fun off-road; it’s planning its future

Every year, Jeep travels to the Moab Easter Safari to unveil a handful of concept cars. Some are based on production models, while others are classic rigs upgraded with modern components. It's fun, but the company is also planning its…
Cars

Ford is keeping hackers out of its cars by putting key fobs to sleep

Ford found a way to stop thieves who try to hack their way into a car by duplicating its key fob. It developed a smart key fob that puts itself to sleep when it's idle for at least 40 seconds. It automatically wakes up when someone picks it…
Emerging Tech

Planet-hunting satellite discovers its first Earth-sized planet

NASA's planet hunting satellite, TESS, has made a new discovery. Last month the satellite discovered its first exoplanet. And now it has achieved another milestone, locating its first Earth-sized planet and a larger sibling planet.
Outdoors

Puma is looking for volunteers to test its self-lacing sports shoe

Puma unveiled its high-tech self-lacing shoe at the start of the year, and now it's looking for volunteers from around the world to try it out and offer feedback so it can finalize the design prior to launch.
Virtual Reality

Valve Index VR headset revealed, more info coming in May

The Valve Index was teased, confirming rumors that the gaming company is working on its own virtual reality headset. More information about the Valve Index will be coming in May, which could also be the device's release date.
Emerging Tech

Nonny de la Peña wants to put virtual reality within Reach

Telling a story in VR can sometimes pack a punch regular films can’t. As a pioneer in immersive journalism, Nonny de la Peña wants to open that experience to everyone with her Reach platform.
Gaming

Valve may have accidentally leaked the ship date for its VR headset

Due to a mishap, we may have learned that this year will be the summer of Index. Valve published three Index store pages early and, while they featured mostly placeholder text, they revealed the 2019 ship date for the VR headset.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Mobile

A Google patent hints at a new attempt at an augmented reality headset

Google may be working on another augmented reality headset. The company was awarded a patent for an augmented reality headset. Unfortunately, the patent isn't specific as to what the headset will look like.
Gaming

Nintendo is bringing the latest Zelda and Mario games to its VR headset

The Nintendo Labo VR Kit launches this month and two of the Switch's biggest games, Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild, will get free VR support via an update that goes live a couple of weeks after the VR Kit launch.
Wearables

Army uses modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 for ‘real-life game of Call of Duty’

The U.S. Army gave CNBC an exclusive look at its modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset. The Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, provides various functions for training and combat.
Computing

Dive headfirst into the best VR experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist on it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.
Gaming

Sony patent describes glasses with eye tracking for VR headsets

A patent from Sony shows off prescription glasses that feature eye-tracking capabilities for a virtual reality headset but deactivates the already-existing eye-tracking feature in the headset when it senses that the glasses are in use.