At the moment, virtual reality is in a weird place. As refined as the technology currently is, virtual reality goers are still likely to experience motion sickness. Additionally, the illusion of virtual reality quick dissipates when users are forced to stay still and use some sort of controller to facilitate the experience.
Like many others before it, PAO aims to solve this immersion problem with a multi-directional treadmill. Not only is it designed to translate a person’s movement in any direction, it can also translate squats and jumps. What’s more, the product can be used with virtual reality headsets, traditional gaming consoles, and even Android devices. A PAO can be purchased for $300, with an expected ship date of December 2015. The Kickstarter campaign is looking to secure $10,000 in funding by May 20.
PAO is extremely similar to its predecessor, the Virtuix Omni, save for its current pre-production status. As a result, the Omni is a much more refined product, something reflected in its $699 price tag, not to mention its 160lb product weight and the large list of accessories it can be used with. In comparison, the PAO is more than half of the Virtuix Omni’s size and costs less than half. Notably, the PAO doesn’t require users to wear specialized shoes like the Omni does. If PAO can ensure that these benefits remain in place when the final production unit ships, it will prove a worthy and compelling purchase for gamers looking for a full and immersive virtual reality experience.