A walrus on virtual rollerskates

Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2017 - 02:02 PM |
Tagged: hyneman, roller skates, VR, Vortrex Shoes

Jamie Hyneman is pitching a project to build prototype VR roller skates; not as a game but as a way to save your shins while using a VR headset.  The design places motorized wheels under your heel and a track under the ball of your foot which will move your foot back to its starting position if you walk forward.  If all goes as planned this should allow you to walk around in virtual worlds without running into walls, chairs or spectators and perhaps allow games to abandon the point and teleport currently in vogue.  There are a lot of challenges as previous projects have discovered but perhaps a Mythbuster can help out.  You can watch his pitch video over at The Register.

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"Hyneman's pitch video points out that when one straps on goggles and gloves to enter virtual reality, your eyes are occupied and you therefore run the risk of bumping into stuff if you try to walk in meatspa ce while simulating walking in a virtual world. And bumping into stuff is dangerous."

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Source: The Register

November 9, 2017 | 02:08 PM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

come on, how many of you first read that as "A Walrath on virtual rollerskates"

November 9, 2017 | 04:37 PM - Posted by TK (not verified)

Great idea... if inertia didn't exist.

November 9, 2017 | 06:53 PM - Posted by SomeMarketsOnlyForRed (not verified)

"Safe"! Up until the point that an angry walrus breaks into your house while you are wearing these and you wind up impaled by its tusks becaue you can't run away.

November 10, 2017 | 01:40 AM - Posted by nonnymous (not verified)

Hell of a pipe dream.
What's supposed to be powering the things? How many times more expensive it's going to be than something like that VR treadmill you see at tech expos and nowhere else?

November 10, 2017 | 03:37 PM - Posted by James

I think it would be break immersion a bit to have this thing motoring you about at every step. Treadmill type device might be less noticeable, but still has immersion issues, not to mention the limited motion direction. At least people are trying, but I can’t see this working well. Not at all for me since I am over the weight limit. Too fat for VR.

November 10, 2017 | 05:13 PM - Posted by TrackBallConveyorTechnology (not verified)

I'd like to see these SKUs for those jobs where walking long distances is involved like trade shows in large covnention venus. I'm thinking that the single halftrack has the motor and the wheels just support weight and follow that halftrack, but I could be wrong and it may be the wheels that are powered. Some of the other trade show workers that I knew took to bringing those portable push scooters to get longer distances at trade shows because all that walking in addition to assembling show booths was just too tiring on sometimes 16 and even 24+ hours long shifts to get things up before show time.

But what about power and speed and It would sure be nice if these shoes could be powered by an induction system embedded in the pavement. The only places with moving sidewalks that I know are airports.

It does appear that most of the VR targeted gaming accessories are not targeted for the plump folks that game and as a fatty myself it's even hard to find pants that are above 38 inches waist size in the stores in those downtown malls. Hell even shirts that are marked XL appear to be about the same size as the Large sizes sold a few year back and I haven't gotten any fatter. It's just that the clothing makers are shrinking everything down and XL is the new Large. So now I try and get XXL to make up for the clothing makers gimping on a little extra fabric.

If you have ever seen those new conveyor technology videos on youtube where thay use those individually motorized track ball like rollers that can actually move boxes on the conveyor any direction. And they can even turn the boxes and direct the boxes to targeted conveyor slots and do amazing box sorting tasks like auto tying boxes in a pattern to be stacked on a pallet/skid. That's kind of technology would be better for VR and natural walking for any direction.

"These conveyor belts are a trip"


November 11, 2017 | 05:38 PM - Posted by remc86007

I'm failing to grasp how one would use these things without falling over.

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