VR Locomotion

Locomotion in VR is difficult as we want to allow users to move in an infinite virtual space while being in a physically constrained place. This limitation makes most locomotion in VR cause motion sickness as the body does not feel that it is moving.

I think that a VR treadmill that allows users to move around in the physical space to move their avatar in the virtual space would alleviate the issue of motion sickness. There have been several companies who have created a VR treadmill, like Virtuix Omni, KAT Walk and Rovr.

(Image by Virtuix Omni)

However, the issue is that these gadgets are not affordable to individual consumers (KAT Walk being priced at about $1,500). I think it would be great if instead of buying, there can be more opportunities where consumers may rent these equipments to try out these technologies.

A new way to move via hip-based navigation (DecaMove)

A picture containing icon

Description automatically generated

More info: https://www.deca.net/decamove/

One of the most exciting things that just came up for VR Locomotion is the DecaMove device. The DecaMove itself is an external sensor that attaches to the user’s hip or lower body torso.

Traditionally in many VR simulations and games, Player Locomotion is normally done via teleportation or having smooth locomotion with joystick via hand or head direction.

However, there are two main problems with having the current way of locomotion:

1) Your hands are not free whilst moving in the game as you need to hold onto a button or joystick

2) It takes some time for users to adjust to as the movement may not be natural and users may experience motion sickness.

With the DecaMove device, it solves both problems as the sensor embedded senses the movement of the users’ hips for navigation and orientation. This ensures that players can move without having to hold or press a button as well as making the movement a lot more natural since we use our hips naturally to move in real life.

This device makes games with intense combat sections (such as in FPS games) much more natural as it is easier for players to coordinate their movements with their hip motion as opposed to a joystick or button.

Furthermore, this DecaMove device does not need any external base trackers, making it a lot more versatile and compatible with various headsets. The setup is also pretty straightforward as shown in the review of this accessory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp27jRDZh18

Overall, it is quite an exciting product that just got released and hopefully it’ll be the standard for many games soon.