Although virtual reality is poised to take the world by the storm at some point, that point is still a long way off. One of the biggest reasons why the promise of a fully immersive virtual reality hasn’t yet been fulfilled is because it’s challenging to create a world that users can effectively move around within.
Reality Abstraction Industries is entering an already crowded arena with a new entrant, the Ground Control four axis joystick. Now, this isn’t a joystick for the hands, but rather for the feet, topped with a foot panel users can slide, rotate, or tilt in the real world to walk, run, jump, or turn in the virtual one. The product comes pre-configured, but each axis is customizable so that users can tailor them to their exact preferences. The Ground Control foot controllers cost $250 and are expected to ship in January 2016. Reality Abstraction Industries is looking for about $200,000 for molds and production by April 24.
While the product isn’t completely finished just yet, it does try to tackle the locomotion problem which has long been a hindrance on advancing the state of VR. Unfortunately, there are already a number of other extremely similar products on the market, like the 3DRudder, that do pretty much the same thing. Their downsides include a limited demographic appeal along with Windows-only support, to factors which clearly demonstrate the need for new concepts instead of rehashing older ones.