Virtuix Omni

Service : Industrial Design, Mechanical Design, Package Design,
               User Manual Design, Sourcing

Release Date : 2015-01

 

A Total Design Solution for

the Ultimate VR Gaming Experience

With the Oculus Rift and other PC gaming accessories conquering the market, the hype around Virtual Reality is higher than ever.

However, a common problem related to the use of VR goggles is that users easily lose their balance during the games. Therefore, Houston-based startup company - Virtuix came up with the idea of a closed platform to solve this problem. CRE8 DESIGN was then commissioned by Virtuix to design and engineer for “Omni”, a gaming treadmill targeting serious gamers, who want to immerse themselves in the ultimate Virtual Reality experience.

2015 CES Video

 

 
Designing the Omni Treadmill

 

CRE8 took the challenge and had the industrial design and the mechanical engineering teams work on this project seamlessly. Designing a product within a completely new category required in-depth research and innovative approaches. The teams went through multiple research, brainstorming and ideation phases in which they came up with concepts in different styles but also various solutions for adjustability, to make the VR experience as immersive as possible.

Studying user behavior and testing prototypes are essential to the success of such a complex design project and rely much on cross-team collaboration. Taking ergonomics and a highly adjustable mechanism into consideration, to create this full scale product was a real challenge that demanded attention to every detail.

CRE8’s designers developed their concepts through various phases, but always started with good, old school sketching.

 

The concepts were challenged and improved to evolve into the final product. Following the sketch development phase, Photoshop 2D renderings showed a wide range of refined concepts with more details and preliminary material choices.

 

 
Such a sophisticated gaming product has to fit users of different body types. Therefore it needs to offer multiple adjustment points that can be operated with ease, where users can fully concentrate on the gameplay.
In the final 3D renderings, CRE8 DESIGN showed detailed operation scenarios.
The whole gaming platform needs to be stable to withstand even the roughest of battles, but also has to be easily disassembled for storage.
All handles and grips are made of die-cast aluminum to create fine texture. The material chosen also makes a clear statement that this product is not a toy but a tool. It lifts Omni up to a premium level with added values.
Clasps and clamps are securely connected to the ring unit with rugged steel arms. A tool-free operation makes it easy for height adjustment, but most of all, the assembly is intuitive without users having to read lengthy product manuals.
The heart of the Omni treadmill is its central control board which is connected to the PC and receives signals of the player’s motions through the pod sensors attached to the player’s body.
Clear graduations make it easy for users to quickly adjust to their preferred height.
The arms are spring loaded and provide excellent support. The foot-controlled levers activate fixtures that help lock the arms easily, firmly and securely in place.
The large front deck marks the entrance into the Omni treadmill and the VR world. The rubber plates offer grip and safety for the user when wearing a special pair of Omni gliding shoes.
 

The Rack

CRE8 DESIGN also designed a rack that can attach to the main unit. Gamers can place multiple devices, guns, and controllers, as well as any belongings, to keep their pockets empty.

CRE8’s designers devised multiple layouts for input devices and cable management.

 

Following a process of sketch iterations, the designers made foam mock-ups of 1:1 scale to test the usability of the rack when attached to the prototype of the main unit.

 

 

After testing and adjustments to improve position and size, the rack was 3D modelled showing every little detail.

The Pods

Movements of the gamer can be translated accurately with multiple pods attached to the gamer’s body and the shoes. These sensors communicate via Bluetooth with the control board and PC.

The pods are designed in octagon to match Omni’s design language.

The Omni Treadmill required joint forces of CRE8’s teams to focus on the complex tasks.

Learn more details of the mechanical innovation...click here