An oft-ignored issue plaguing VR Gaming is the fact that cognitive dissonance between the mind and the body occurs wherein players use a thumbstick or ‘teleporting’ in order to traverse long distances. The act of travelling during a Virtual Reality game but not actually moving your feet at all can be pointed to as one of the major causes of motion sickness.
While room-scale VR solutions like HTC Vive and Vive Pro provide the ability to move around in a small box inside of your room, open world games demand much larger travel distances. For a long time it has been a competition for various treadmill-style devices to debate their way into a gamer’s household – but those are big and bulky (and usually noisy!). Now a better solution has emerged…
Cybershoes is a company from Vienna, Austria which has shown off working demonstration units of their new Cybershoes product set to take the VR Gaming world by storm. Instead of a strapping yourself into a big treadmill device, the idea is that you put on this pair of shoes specifically designed for travelling infinite distances in open world games like Skyrim VR, Fallout VR, and even making fast-paced shooters like Doom VFR much more enjoyable. Cybershoes have been shown being worn by a user who is sitting on a stool and making the motion of walking with their feet, a massive improvement from using thumbsticks or teleporting buttons.
The Kickstarter for Cybershoes launched today and thanks to a handful of social media advertisements and some decent press coverage at E3 2018, best hardware award nomination at Gamescom 2018, and playable demos at Tokyo Game Show 2018, the product has reached its full funding and then some! It’s only day one, but at the time of this writing Cybershoes has already received over €68,000 EUR of pledged support (that’s over $100,000 CAD or $78,000 USD) from over 350 backers.
Here are some more highlights regarding specs and features:
- Third Gen – the design has already been evolved dramatically
- Wireless: Using RF (Radio Frequency) for enhanced reliability
- Charge Time: 8 – 10 hours of battery life after a 3 hour charge
- SteamVR Compatibility, Micro USB Charging Port
- Works with any game capable of touchpad or thumbstick moving
- Attach to any shoe, roll on the floor gently, while seated up high
- Rated for 220 lb or 110 kg (so use a stool, don’t put full weight on)
- Optional: Cybershoes Carpet to ensure perfect performance
- Pricing: €151 EUR ($174 USD) for Super Early Bird Special
- Pricing: €169 EUR ($195 USD) for Early Bird Special
- Pricing: €172 EUR ($198 USD) for Carpet + Cybershoes Combo
- Pricing: €193 EUR ($222 USD) for Standard KS Backer’s Price
- There are also Early and Standard packages with two Cybershoes
- Bonus Arcade Pack Options: €389 ($449 USD) gets you Cybershoes, Cybercarpet, Priority Support, Steel stand, and a custom red HAG Capisco Puls. gaming chair. This is the Early Bird Price, and there are a number of additional options similar to this.
- There are also Business Options, Multiplayer Deals, and more.
There’s still 29 days to go on the campaign which allows backers to reserve their own pair of Cybershoes for VR Gaming. Of course, as with all Kickstarter campaigns, there’s a small chance that this product will experience issues during development – you’re gambling that money a bit. However, with working units already tested by many reviewers there’s much less risk here than with most other projects.
I personally have been dying for a VR travel solution for so long, and I sincerely wish this company an absolutely resounding success with both Kickstarter and hopefully an eventual retail release to mass market. This is exactly the kind of product VR Gaming needs and has been waiting for. While there are many other interesting and exciting projects for VR accessories coming together right now, Cybershoes successfully addresses (and seemingly solves) the biggest and most immediate need in the VR accessory market.