KAT Loco is the Latest Project to Tackle Movement in VR
When it comes to movement in virtual reality (VR) most players are used to either teleportation or smooth locomotion with a few roomscale shenanigans thrown in for good measure. But there are other avenues which can be explored depending on how immersive you want an experience to be (or how nauseated VR makes you), using hardware like 3dRudder or Cybershoes. KAT VR is another manufacturer having originally created an omnidirectional treadmill. This week the company announced a new locomotion venture, more akin to the Vive Trackers called KAT Loco.
Unlike its big space consuming omnidirectional treadmill, KAT Loco is a foot-based locomotion system made up of three pucks. Two attach around a user’s ankles while the third attaches to their waist. This enables them to then walk or run on the spot to initiate movement in VR. As movement can be one of the greatest barriers to comfortable VR gameplay, making players physically move in a natural way without needing roomscale or cumbersome tech has proven to be popular.
As you may expect, KAT Loco enables forward movement by simply jogging. But for locomotion to truely work in VR the solution needs to offer more. So players will be able to move backwards, and strafe – essential for first-person shooters (FPS). KAT VR has even included ‘Cruise Control’, enabling players to move in one direction at a particular speed without having to move their legs; which is perfect for large open worlds like Fallout 4 VR.
KAT VR launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign a couple of days ago and managed to achieve its $50,000 USD goal within the first 24 hours. Currently sat at just over $57,000, backing tiers for the system start from $99 for the Early Bird price. There are still plenty left at that price but sales are capped at 500 units.
KAT Loco has been designed to work with as many VR headsets as possible, including Oculus Rift and Quest, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and any others which are SteamVR compatible. While the kit features three sensors, the company is looking into support for up to 16 modules for more complex body tracking.
Deliveries are scheduled to take place in August 2019. As further details are released VRFocus will let you know.