VR treadmill maker Virtuix partners with Hero for Chinese VR rollout

Virtuix, the company behind the virtual-reality treadmill, Omni, has announced a partnership with Chinese game publisher Hero Entertainment. Responsible for enormously popular shooters like Crisis Action, the Chinese game firm is looking to install a number of VR arcade setups around the country, with the Omni as a focal piece of hardware.

The companies won’t be stopping there, though. They’re also looking to push physical esports, utilizing the treadmill to drive first-person shooter competition that also requires real physical exertion.

Hero Entertainment already has a foot in that door thanks to the popularity of some of its games. It also has an affiliate, Hero Sports, which owns and operates the Hero Pro League, China’s biggest mobile Esports league. Virtuix will partner directly with that entity for esports promotion, providing hardware and expertise to help grow the physical esports scene.

Using Hero’s already strong influence within China, the pair of companies have already secured a buyer for Omni hardware. UNIS, the supplier for much of the country’s arcade amusement machines, has pledged to purchase between 5,000 and 10,000 Omni treadmills in order to install them in arcades, malls, and entertainment locations.

“We believe that virtual reality will take off faster and become bigger in China than anywhere else,” said Jan Goetgeluk, Virtuix’s founder and CEO. “With the Hero deal, we are teaming up with China’s premier FPS developer. Their content combined with our Omni motion platform provides an unbeatable Active VR experience that we predict will take the China market by storm.”

Virtuix is further embedding itself in the Chinese marketplace, having received “strategic investment,” from Chinese electronic manufacturer Leyard, which will perhaps aid in manufacturing, but more specifically will be able to help install Omni’s in some of the country’s entertainment centers and theme parks where it already has a presence.

Investments from outside sources have seen Virtuix raise over $6 million in recent months, and now with its partners in China it is expected to expand its capabilities quite dramatically. However it is still a long way off from meeting all production needs. In a chat with Goetgeluk, we learned that there is still a near six-month waiting list for those ordering the treadmill.

While catching up with that backlog is important, Goetgeluk said that moving forward, Virtuix planned to refine the design of the Omni, making it lighter, more robust, and if possible, cheaper.

Gaming

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Gaming

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a ton of games you can play with starting April 12

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a plethora of games to play after you're done building the Toy-Cons. From an on-rails alien shooter to a deep sea photography adventure, here's what you can play with Labo: VR Kit. You can even make your own games.
Computing

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.
Emerging Tech

The U.S. Army is building a giant VR battlefield to train soldiers virtually

Imagine if the U.S. Army was able to rehearse battlezone scenarios dozens, or even hundreds, or times before settling foot on actual terrain. Thanks to virtual reality, that's now a possibility.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Computing

Samsung files a VR patent featuring a curved OLED display

Doubling down on its emphasis on curved displays, Samsung recently filed a design patent for a new virtual reality headset that could feature a curved OLED display, which would be an interesting development in VR.
Gaming

Bringing realism to VR is complex, but these developers found a way in holograms

Making virtual reality feel real is the hardest job of all VR developers. For Awake: Episode One, StartVR used volumetric recording, rather than motion capture, to bring its characters to life like never before.
Computing

HP’s high-resolution VR headset provides comfort and Windows Mixed Reality

HP's new VR headset reportedly offers an exceptionally high resolution, highlights comfort and runs on Windows Mixed Reality. HP hasn't officially announced the new headset, but here's a look at some of its features.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Virtual Reality

HTC Vive Focus Plus makes it easier for developers to port PC content

HTC Vive has announced the Vive Focus Plus headset. The upgraded stand-alone headset makes use of "six degrees of freedom" support in controllers for a PC-like virtual reality experience.
Computing

Here’s how to watch Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 press conference

It is widely believed that Microsoft's WMC conference will be the stage for the unveiling of the next generation of its HoloLens mixed reality headset. We have the live stream right here.
Computing

Microsoft unveils $3,500 HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019. Here’s what you need to know

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Cars

Nissan designers use HaptX VR gloves to shape future cars

New car designs usually start out as clay before becoming metal, but designers are now swapping clay for pixels. Nissan is using virtual reality gloves from HaptX that give designers a tactile feel of virtual models.