WalkOVR is a Virtual Reality motion capture suit that uses trackers to follow gamers body movements so they can take on the role of a character in a VR game and walk around. The San Francisco based startup, originally from Istanbul and Europe, created WalkOVR with the gamer in mind.
Using handheld controllers or wands in VR games may give you the firepower of guns and the precision of a sword or saber, but immersion gets sucked out of the experience when you use the controller’s trackpad or joystick to move and even fly around.
WalkOVR’s founder and CEO, Tugra Sahiner, says, “Our primary interaction with life is moving around. If we can’t provide this simple interaction to VR users, then VR will never be as immersive as it deserves.”
How does WalkOVR help make VR worlds more believable and active? The lightweight and easy to put on locomotion wearable is worn around the waist, knees, and ankles for lower body tracking and movement.
Hip and full leg tracking weren’t yet achieved when the Oculus, Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets initially released. Now, wireless and Bluetooth enabled wearables like WalkOVR are filling in that void. Wearing it will give your lower half movement.
Unfortunately, some people actually get motion sick from not being able to walk around and anchor their vestibular system to reality while in VR. Walking in VR can sometimes help with this, so if that sounds like you, this could be a helpful investment worth looking into.
VR Games and Locomotion
The strappy wearable informs that it’s, “Compatible with the top VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) and popular games”. Which headsets can use it? HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality are the headsets of choice. It’s also compatible with Steam VR for those without a Viveport subscription or multiple headsets.
With WalkOVR, players can jump into VR games like Fallout 4, Skyrim VR, Doom VFR, Arizona Sunshine, Serious Sam VR, Onward, Protonwar, and others for up to 4 hours of game time. They can walk and run forward and backward, move side to side and also jump!
There are wearables out in the metaverse that have few games to play with their technology, but WalkOVR has 12 VR games and 8 PC games ported by VorpX. They are currently expecting 12 games after playtesting. Their site shows titles like Subnautica, Minecraft, Gorn, Payday 2 VR, and Farcry 4 as upcoming games.
Unlike traditional console and PC gaming, WalkOVR, says, “One of the most significant benefits of the WalkOVR suit is that it helps keep VR gamers physically active. With WalkOVR’s product, gamers can avoid being confined to the couch.”
“Instead, they can move in place while playing their favorite games. It can also monitor—and encourage—physical activity by tracking active playing time, miles run or walked, and even the number of calories burned during gameplay.”
If you’ve ever tried to play VR games in a small play area you understand that it feels weird and is uncomfortable to teleport and fight orcs, beasts, and other combatants at the same time. Getting rid of controller isolated movement frees up your hands to interact more with the world around you and walk or run intuitively.