VR Shoes – A Potential VR Locomotion Solution?

One of the limitations of VR games is the “supposed” need for real-life large spaces for players to move while playing in VR. Some solutions include using an analog stick or even teleportation to move around – but these may lead to motion sickness (or even break immersion).

Another possible solution is using electronic shoes (VR shoes). These shoes are equipped with electronic trackers that detect movement and speed.

However, unlike the treadmill that is designed to keep players in a fixed place, the VR shoes are not explicitly designed to do so. A creative way of negating movement is to pull the player’s standing foot upon the completion of one step. This feature is implemented in Ekto One, a pair of wearable robotic boots:

Source: Geek Culture (Medium)

Here is a simple video demonstration of the boots being used in Half-Life Alyx:

There are no simulations of walking on the spot. The two rotating plates are able to rotate in the direction the player is moving towards. A set of wheels pull the leg back whenever the player takes a step forward, simulating the walking sensation.

However, the boots seem to be able to accommodate only simple movements. being about to re-create side-stepping or jumping would definitely be a huge challenge, but would greatly enhance the immersive experience.

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