Is the Virtualizer Dead?

TomekTomek Posts: 76
I've been checking out the Virtualizer Kickstarter page recently and the last Official update was on November 13th! And that mentioned a new update to come in the following week. The comments page is full of people worried, angry and disappointed. One person called them and was told there would be an update soon but still nothing. The Virtualizer was even absent from CES! I really feel sorry for these guys. They dropped ~$1k, some many more on this thing and they can't even get a soothing lie about everything being ok.

I remember tossing up between the Virtualizer and the Omni but felt that running on the bowl was going to be more natural and less strenuous than a flat surface, despite the better support for jumping, crouching and sitting. Plus it was half the price at the time!

It is at least good news for the Omni as it means that it alone will get support and since it has began shipping, there's little doubt that it is not a failure. But damn, I really do feel sorry for those guys.

Comments

  • blazespinnakerblazespinnaker Posts: 235
    edited February 2016
    @Tomek I doubt they are dead, but they do face a very significant design challenge. One key feedback point I've heard about the Virtuix is that supporting the user is critical because of the low friction environment. The crouching capability of the Virtualizer and others removes that sense of support. If your feet slip out from underneath you, they could go smashing into a support poll. Or the sudden unexpected lack of support could cause you to twist an ankle pretty bad.

    There was interesting article on a lot of crazy accidents that people are having with the Vive. Much like you shouldn't skateboard without PPE (Personal protective equipment), I am not sure it's a good idea to use stand up VR without it either.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    you have a link for that article @blazespinnaker I would like to give that a read.

    As for the Virtualizer: I never hopped they would fail, I am sure everyone on that team as worked very hard on it. However I cant say I ever thought it would succeed. In my opinion it has a single fundamental flaw. The amount of force needed to push a foot back on a flat, none slick, surface. it is a surprising amount. its easy enough to test. put your hands against a wall at waist high on a wood floor and try it. Even a freshly cleaned and oiled floor is still allot of effort. This means that ever time you want to move you going to put allot of pressure on your the front of your waist. it just does not seem natural, comfortable or practical. and then there is the price. I think that was the final nail int he coffin.
  • StigzyStigzy Posts: 25
    Well the problem they had was to many moving parts. Before testing it public they hadnt a chance to test it for long time with different play styles. I dont know where, but they did test it public and got some problems with it. They said they had to see over the virtualizer and do it more solid. How long time that will take, we will see.. or maby not?!. I for one opted for Omni because of less moving parts really. I dont have need to be crouched my self to crouch in game. I am fine with pushing one button to crouch and walk normal on the omni.
  • The Virtualizer has a lot of problems; chief among them is communication. However, the product itself aside, the bigger point is it represents competition. As is seen again and again competition foster innovation and quality for the consumer (us). The Omni is great but competition will make it greater.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    Agreed @Sponge101 , like I said I never hopped they would fail. I just don't see them succeeding.

    Perhaps KatVR will give Virtuix some good competition. I like the more open design of KatVR however I think it has two major issues.
    • The HMD cords rapping around the support rod. its one thing to have a cord twist, like it does with the Omni, but having the cord wrap around something will greatly increase how often you need to stop and unwind it. .
    • Price. I think they are off there rocker if they think they can manufacture that thing at the price point there telling use. just the materials alone would be tremendous compared to the Omni and Virtualizer. I would be shocked if the final retail price is sub $2000.
    But again I hope they do well, like you said competition is a good thing.
  • It's my understanding Virtualizer has government support of some kind and so that comes with benefits and negatives. Maybe that's why they're so quiet but who knows.

    The upper support structure of the KatVR is interesting to me but, like you indicated, cost will be astronomical. If they decide to keep it the way it is now then I think they will appeal more to the domestic, local market but as a consequence shunning the international customer simply because the total cost will be too unaffordable. I do like the idea of there being an Omni-equivalent in America, Europe, and Asia because of going back to the point about competition.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    O thats interesting i did not know that about the Virtualizer.

    I was thinking if KatVR could make something you bolt to you ceiling they could drastically cut costs. though not everyone is willing or able to bolt something like that to there ceiling lol.
  • TomekTomek Posts: 76
    @xxann5 You could do the same thing with the Omni then. Just take out the supports and replace the harness / attach it to your ceiling lynch!

    FI, according to the comments, the Virtualizer company is seeking additional funding from investors although it isn't making much noise about this. Omni definitely had the first mover advantage in getting lots of backing and additional funding from investors.
  • Cyberith's Virtualizer definitely isn't dead. Just spoke to them last week. :smile:
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    Cool, what did they have to say?
  • I can't say because of an NDA, I'm sorry, but they're definitely not dead. :smile:
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