KatVR’s latest Kickstarter for its consumer-focused treadmill for virtual reality (VR) gaming proved to be an instant success. The campaign began in June looking to achieve $100,000 USD – it did that within three minutes! – hitting $1 million within the first day. The Kickstarter has now ended, becoming one of the most successful of any VR peripheral.
Kat Walk C managed to raise a total of $1,667,295 from 1397 backers over the course of a month, as well as managing to hit every stretch goal. The last one was at $1.5m which will add a haptic feedback module into the platform base.
With the campaign complete it’s now time to look towards the end of the year when deliveries are slated to start for backers. Production is expected to start in September with the first batch of Kat Walk C treadmills going out in October. That is of course barring any issues because of the pandemic and its knock-on effect to manufacturing and distribution.
This will be the company’s first consumer-focused treadmill, as its previous models were a lot larger intended for VR arcades and other location-based entertainment (LBE) venues. Hence why the Kat Walk C has a footprint of 0.69m2 and comes in two models (standard/large) to accommodate most players from 5.4ft up to 6.5ft, maxing out at 130kg.
Kat Walk C has been designed to allow for a full range of motion so that players can be fully immersed inside an experience. Dedicated footwear help to provide natural walking and running locomotion whilst the harness provides support to keep users in place. The system also enables other actions such as crouching. The device has a multitude of other features including adjustable settings depending on the VR title as well as support for most VR headsets, from Valve Index to PlayStation VR and Oculus Quest.
The Kickstarter may have ended but KatVR does plan on selling the omni-directional treadmill commercially. It plans on gaining feedback from early adopters before releasing a retail version which will be more expensive than the Kickstarter model.