Since April 2013, VR startup Virtuix Omni continues to do a fascinating job bringing VR technologies ever-closer to becoming mainstream and immensely popular.
Virtuix Omni has designed, launched, and presented several modifications of VR equipment providing users with a top-notch patented motion platform for active VR games.
How does Virtuix Omni stand out in the market?
What can other VR startups learn from Virtuix Omni?
How does a partnership with experts in VR development make a difference for new VR startups?
Read the answers below.
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What is an Omni Arena?
Omni Arena is a special commercial system designed for entertainment venues by one of the most interesting Virtual Reality startups. Omni Arena is a self-contained booth with all the hardware and software users need to have fun while safely playing in an active VR game.
The core feature of Omni Arena is Omni 2.0 motion platform, an advanced version of Omni treadmill. Users embrace the feeling of being able to move their bodies energetically and enthusiastically, yet stay in the same small area. Such VR moves include walk, run, turn around, bow down, etc.
Omni VR Arena includes such hardware elements:
- Omnidirectional treadmill
- Adjustable harnesses
- VR boom
- Custom peripheral guns/controllers
- Special shoes or shoe covers for precise motion tracking
- Touchscreens for data input
- TV screens for game display
Omni hardware is calibrated to work best with HTC Vive helmets. Inertial sensors track user movements and translate them into the game movements. The game is displayed in players’ helmets and on wide TV screens. It is also recorded.
In the first version of Omni Arena, two variations were offered—for two and four players. Up to eight visitors can play simultaneously inside the new Omni Arena 2.0. Arenas differ in size and number of computers and TV screens.
Currently, 20 games from Omniverse (Omni app library) are available for Omni Arena. Visitors can select different genres and complexity.
How does Omni Arena work?
An Omni Arena brings fun by letting gamers act as a team. Gamers book a session, share coop experience with friends, and compete with other teams for weekly money prizes and goodies.
Players step inside an Omni Arena and go to a dressing room to put on special shoes and enter nicknames via touchscreens. They choose games and wait for their booked session. When it’s their turn, they enter the room and an attendant helps them adjust VR hardware and properly secure it.
Then the fun starts.
TV screens display pictures from the players’ viewpoint. A big screen outside displays current team ratings.
Each session lasts 7 – 10 minutes. Although the time might seem short, new players get overwhelmed with new sensations and need a break.
Experienced players can order a one-hour rental.
After the session has ended, users can watch a replay video. They can also share their videos on social networks.
Here is how it works:
Here is a review from Bob Cooney, a VR enthusiast, after checking out the inside of an Omni Arena in the middle of a workday:
Omni VR Arenas are practical. An Omni Arena represents a turnkey solution. An Omni Arena can be installed and tuned inside a commercial venue within a couple of hours. It has a straightforward but intensive flow. This helps businesses maximize load on each Omni Arena without deteriorating experience.
One attendant is enough to handle an Omni Arena.
Is Omni a good investment?
You decide. If you do, you join a large, passionate community.
Numbers say: 4,000 systems sold and shipped. Installed inside 500 venues in 45 countries…and counting.
Omni Virtuix belongs to those VR startup companies that have managed to deliver a product exactly what the market wanted and expected from them.
What an Omni VR Arena does:
- makes free movements inside VR worlds possible
- provides improved handling in VR games
- ensures playing VR games without crashing into everything around
- creates low entry barriers for active VR gamers
Additionally, Omni Arena is a business-friendly solution:
Because visitors actually move actively while staying in the same spot, the booths do not require much space, i.e., saves on rent costs.
Players are tethered. They can neither destroy equipment nor get injured.
Due to elaborate workflow, the maximum hourly throughput equals 24 players.
Repeat plays and visitors who come specifically to try it, make Omni Arena an anchor attraction in a venue.
What is Omni’s recipe for VR startups’ success?
What is important for other startups in Virtual Reality, Virtuix Omni is a great example of how to survive and thrive.
Its recipe is a bit similar to that of Pokémon Go success. Both entered an enthusiastic market with an innovative, yet long-awaited solution.
What makes Virtuix Omni’s story different, it delivers a complete platform. Here is what makes Virtuix Omni’s products success:
It has innovative yet down-to-earth VR startup ideas: letting many users walk in VR naturally rather than using clumsy controllers. It does not offer a full-dive Virtual Reality experience—there are no VR startup opportunities for it—but it has figured out a solution that makes VR fans feel excited.
The team has always been laser focused on its goal to deliver its promised product to end users. The startup produced an MVP. Only after it was ready, fine-tuned, and users’ suggestions considered, the team went to product expansion.
The narrow focus has made it possible to provide a great User Experience. Virtuix Omni has found a great benefits-tradeoffs-excitement-price balance.
Due to technological novelty, notes and suggestions are inevitable. The company incorporates them into product updates. Developers improve source code constantly and provide regular software updates. The development team managed to calibrate the platform precisely.
Readiness to expand
After its Omni treadmill was up and running, Virtuix Omni VR startup did not hesitate to transition to the B2B market with its Omni Arena. Similarly, it decided on Omni One for homes when there was obvious user interest.
IT Craft’s contribution
As for many other VR startups, addressing challenges of a quickly evolving technology is hard. A professional, committed development team provides the right momentum for making VR startup ideas come true.
By the time IT Craft’s VR development team first met Virtual Reality startup Virtuix Omni, it had a treadmill prototype. The startup wanted a team that could handle their entire project and finalize the system:
- integrate and fine tune hardware
- provide necessary technology updates
- introduce multiple long-awaited features
Below are a few challenges on the way to exceptional User Experience:
Players can watch in a direction different from where they are moving because body orientation is decoupled from foot tracking. The system receives data from feet and body movements separately. It analyzes data and displays a complex picture.
Omni treadmills use custom motion controllers and gun peripherals. Developers have finely calibrated controllers to synchronize player movements with an image on the screen. The Omni Arena hardware is paired with HTC Vive helmets and motion controllers.
User Experience also includes pre- and post-game activities. The development team managed to deliver the system keeping in mind even the tiniest details. All player activities are displayed on the big screens without delays, lags, or losing system performance. Players can watch replays and easily share it on social networks.
Constant multiple updates
Software developers work intensively in the first weeks of product releases when real-users testing begins. The team ensures instant response on issues. It stays open to any feedback on User Experience.
What comes next?
VR startups cannot stay idle without risking the point when end users won’t like a VR startup’s product arrives too quickly.
Virtuix Omni—in collaboration with IT Craft VR developers—keeps working on both hardware and a comfortable, console-like software ecosystem encouraging people to join the community.
The next steps include:
With a wide adoption of VR technology and growing interest in Virtual Reality startups, Omni gets back to players’ homes. The new compact Omni One treadmill is scheduled for shipment in the second half of 2021. It allows users to make a wide range of moves such as walking backwards, running, crouching, ducking, etc.
Users can download games from third-party stores. Also, Omni provides games via its own Omniverse store which they introduced in 2017. The games from Omniverse are optimized specifically for the Omni platform to help users enjoy active motion.
Users also get ‘Omni online’ This is a console-like subscription which makes it possible for users to enjoy online multiplayer gaming.
The IT Craft development team is working on an SDK for VR developers which will help increase Virtual Reality startup opportunities for Virtual Reality app startups. Omni SDK makes it possible to expand their presence and make the most of Omni platform features.
Virtuix Omni plans to adopt fitness apps: the platform already counts the number of steps and calories. As an exercise machine, it can help users get a good workout.
Also, the first gaming arena was presented by the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley. Although this brand-new Omni Arena aims at bringing fun, it could well be used for training in the near future.
In conclusion: Where should VR startups follow Virtuix Omni’s path?
VR startup companies should consider the following points:
Think big but be realistic: Virtual Reality startup ideas should make fans feel excited. At the same time, its concept must be feasible. Expectations cannot be different from promises.
Test and improve: Virtual Reality startups should work thoroughly on the entire user path thinking what could make users’ life even better and then implement improvements as soon as possible.
Work with an experienced, professional team: a crucial ingredient of VR startups’ success. A reliable, experienced team turns an idea into a polished product. IT Craft has helped Omni Virtuix—like many startups in other industries—deliver software on time, on budget. And keep pace with user feedback.
Where is an Omni Arena?
Omni VR Arenas are installed indoors in large entertainment venues such as trampoline parks, arenas, etc. Check a venue near you. They might have installed an Omni Arena.
How long should you play VR?
For a new gamer a session lasts 7 – 10 minutes. Cyber athletes and experienced players can order a one-hour session. Longer play time can be exhausting—mentally and physically.
What is Omni Arena?
Omni Arena is an attraction where up to eight players can play VR arcades simultaneously. An Omni Arena for four players is 375 ft² / 35 m² taking a small amount of space in a venue.
How does Virtuix Omni work?
Virtuix Omni consists of a low-friction platform that lets users move freely while playing a VR game. They wear a support harness and a ring to ensure safety. Virtuix Omni is compatible with different VR helmets.