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 Wizdish: Omni-directional 'treadmill' with no moving parts 
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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There was a discussion about this on the VR Geeks mailing list, thought you guys might be interested.

http://www.wizdish.com/



Very similar to some of the ideas posted in the DIY omni-directional thread. Thoughts?

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Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:43 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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Looks more like sliding than walking. Don't see it is any more reaslistic than walking in place. I'm looking into alternative method such as using a wiimote tie to the leg and detect the pitch angle movement. If you press the joystick without moving your leg, then it wouldn't move.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:53 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Hahaha it's almost too perfect:

http://youtubedoubler.com/?video1=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dh5VCppk07LQ&start1=10&video2=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DusZZ9J9ng94&start2=0&authorName=HARDER+STYLE+VR


Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:06 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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@mars: That is too funny... :lol:


Honestly to me it looks strenuous and unnatural. The aggressive motion required seems to shake the head a lot. I wonder what running would look like? On the plus-side: it's small, simple, and does what it's supposed to do, but I agree with pierre that walking in place would be superior.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:26 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I was thinking that a hollow sphere cut in half made coated Teflon with a human wearing wool socks in the center would work better. I would imagine that the static discharge would hurt like a bitch though.


Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:39 am
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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I think it could be a good VR gear if the price is reasonable. Limitations of this gear is the noise caused by friction effect is annoying and your shoe can be damaged pretty fast when using it.


Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:42 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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If someone came up with a way of walking instead of sliding I would buy one! :D

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Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:54 am
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Petrif-Eyed
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The thing that is striking to me is the lack of versatility or any nuance of motion. It's not clear to me that you can even walk backwards - much less sideways (strafing). I feel like you would be badly out-maneuvered against any AI or human opponent. Additionally the amount of hip shifting that is required has the side effect of shaking the head a lot. If you look at the screen while he is walking it's shaking all over the place - much more than a normal head bob, and it looks like it could be a bit disorienting. It's a nice effort - but I just don't think it worked out that well.


Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:09 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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This looks nice :D


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Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:24 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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I think there's far too great of an emphasis on the need to mechanically turn the body in order to covey immersion.

That being said, I'm sure that if someone put their mind to it they could quite easily hack an elliptical to sense orientation pressure and rotate it on a base somehow. I mean why go to all this trouble and expense when there's a machine already available that's 80% of the way there? A rotating elliptical (especially the kind with elevation simulation) would be pretty cheap and effective. Granted, you'd probably have to devise a hip ring or some other mechanism to stabilize and balance the "walker".

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Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:36 pm
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CyberVillain wrote:
If someone came up with a way of walking instead of sliding I would buy one! :D

Then the CyberCarpet is for you :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHfUpI66tfo


Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:00 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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I try out walking in place in Skyrim and don't feel it is very pratical for gaming. The reason is very tiring if you are going to walk/run/jump for 2 hours. Running will make the screen very shaky (just like real running). After 10 mins, I just take a break along the river to admire the scenery of Skyrim. This is really a beautiful game to admire in VR.


Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:36 pm
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This thing is the best solution for home use i have seen so far. If there is a way to walk backwards and strafe i would be interested to try it out. Even if those things need to be done manually via hand controllers it still beats the heck out of anything else ive seen so far. I do worry though, if it is so slippery how do you not fall over?

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Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:12 pm
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Well its not perfect, but it seems like a practical solution given certain constraints (size, price, etc.). If it were relatively cheap (read: under $200) then I would certainly get one just to experiment. Seems an improvement over walking in place, even if its not as great as a real setup (like the BF3 simulator). But if it were between using this device or just standing still with a controller, I think I'd take this contraption.

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Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:37 pm
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cybereality wrote:
Well its not perfect, but it seems like a practical solution given certain constraints (size, price, etc.). If it were relatively cheap (read: under $200) then I would certainly get one just to experiment. Seems an improvement over walking in place, even if its not as great as a real setup (like the BF3 simulator). But if it were between using this device or just standing still with a controller, I think I'd take this contraption.


I would rather sit down in a chair with mouse and keyboard than using that :D

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Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:49 am
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pierreye wrote:
I try out walking in place in Skyrim and don't feel it is very pratical for gaming. The reason is very tiring if you are going to walk/run/jump for 2 hours. Running will make the screen very shaky (just like real running). After 10 mins, I just take a break along the river to admire the scenery of Skyrim. This is really a beautiful game to admire in VR.


Having fun while doing workout, isnt that perfect? :D

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Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:50 am
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Cross country skiing aficionados would love the Wizdish for offseason training :mrgreen:


Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:16 pm
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pierreye wrote:
Looks more like sliding than walking. Don't see it is any more reaslistic than walking in place. I'm looking into alternative method such as using a wiimote tie to the leg and detect the pitch angle movement. If you press the joystick without moving your leg, then it wouldn't move.


if all you are wanting is a analogue stick activated by walking on the spot then you want this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5-NNzaL_1g

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Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:25 am
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Problem with U-Move compare to PS3 Navigator is less button to assign. Skyrim required lots of button to map the action to keyboard command. I try out walking in place without lifting my feet from the ground and feel much more relax yet it somehow add some realism to VR gaming. I need a longer nunchuk extension cable to tie it the leg.


Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:24 am
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Functionally, the U-Move seem equivalent to the WizDish. Both are just binary (go/stop) controllers with very little nuance, but the U-Move seems a lot less strenuous and more natural to use.

The one thing that is not clear in the WizDish video is whether the head and feet motion are handled independently. So for example if he turned his head 90 degrees and shuffled forward, would it display a strafing sideways motion in-game. I can't tell from the video but my guess is that it does not and only tracks the feet rhythm and not the direction.


Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:02 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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I talked with the inventor of the WizDish on the phone yesterday, he allayed a lot of these concerns. Going to try and get my work to buy one, and if not, I will be buying one of his prototypes myself.


Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:50 am
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I love VR but that video in the original post made my night , I can't stop laughing.


Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:44 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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It just looks way too lame. Maybe if I was into cross country skiing, or wanted to learn to moonwalk, but it just doesn't seem like it would be natural enough. I know that on his website he talks about bobbing up and down etc, and that simulating walking, but I think the version of the same idea that was in the movie 'Disclosure' is a better design.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhKsVoKsl8s

If you just have a slick surface, you cannot safely lift a foot off the ground without a saddle or harness. If you have braked or active bearings, you could more safely lift your feet.
This device would be ok if you had a harness or seat of some type, so you could really walk.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:28 am
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I agree, the motion is just to unnatural but a good effort. Good to see pioneers. Just found the shuffling really funny.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:23 am
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I am going to have to try it before writing it off. It won an award at the IEEE VR conference, something that a total POS would not manage.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:26 am
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Oh I don't think it's a POS, not at all. I just couldn't stop laughing when looking at his legs. :p


Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:13 am
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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Could fairly normal walking be achieved with the Wizdish and a harness?


Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:19 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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I searched "u move" on YouTube and found this. Lol.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:22 pm
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Hahaha. Thats a good one.

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Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:13 pm
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Synexious wrote:
I searched "u move" on YouTube and found this. Lol.


THen i loled :woot


Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:57 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I have used the Wizdish. Previous commentators are correct in that its not like walking, but it is surprisingly easy to use and there is very little friction under your feet. How much it improves the experience of being inside the VR is an open question. Certainly there is previous work on "virtual treadmills" that suggest it helps people engage with the environment because they have to walk. There is a subtle cue (which is often faked in FPS games): when you really walk your eyes are not travelling in a straight line and you get proprioceptive cues of moving. Any form of treadmill give you back some, but not all of these cues.


Last edited by profvr on Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:18 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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CyberVillain wrote:
This looks nice :D




I have been on this device. It was very impressive, although its quite scary to have quite so much moving machinery under your feet (take a look at this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-8eVcN2z3k.

However, I have to point out that its not exactly like real walking. It takes some getting used to, especially if you walk whilst turning. It is very quick to learn to get used to.

(The fundamental problem is that although you are walking, you don't have inertia, so all of your learned actions for starting, stopping and turning no longer have to compensate for inertia.).


Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:24 am
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Imagine a unit just like the wizdish, but slightly larger and deeper maybe 1.5m diameter. Every direction you turn or walk you would step onto the curve and slide back down to the centre or basically remain in the centre as the front foot would slide down. I think you could even get used to this so you don't slip over with a little practice. A Teflon coated surface with some woollen socks?

If a come across something the right shape and size i would like to give this a try.

mars3554 wrote:
I was thinking that a hollow sphere cut in half made coated Teflon with a human wearing wool socks in the center would work better. I would imagine that the static discharge would hurt like a bitch though.


Just re read some of the thread and found your post, pretty much the exact same idea :idea:

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Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:31 am
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Okta wrote:
Imagine a unit just like the wizdish, but slightly larger and deeper maybe 1.5m diameter. Every direction you turn or walk you would step onto the curve and slide back down to the centre or basically remain in the centre as the front foot would slide down. I think you could even get used to this so you don't slip over with a little practice. A Teflon coated surface with some woollen socks?

If a come across something the right shape and size i would like to give this a try.

mars3554 wrote:
I was thinking that a hollow sphere cut in half made coated Teflon with a human wearing wool socks in the center would work better. I would imagine that the static discharge would hurt like a bitch though.


Just re read some of the thread and found your post, pretty much the exact same idea :idea:


The Wizdish is already close to frictionless. Its designed so that the radius is roughly equal to your leg length so the walking action doesn't involve too much effort.


If you made a dish with a larger diameter, your foot wouldn't slide down very quickly. Also to step you would need an area which was very high friction so you could push off it; but a dish with two surfaces would be hard to get right: what happens when the foot crosses the boundary between the two?


Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:32 am
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i think the wizdish works with an extra pair of Wizshoes. anyway for a beginning solution it can be good. but i would prefer a fitness stepper or an unidirectional treadmill.

here i found something very interesting:




the one who had the idea doesnt claim any rights on it. he just wants that someone builds his machine.
if this kind of thing works, it could be something that could be produced very cheap...


Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:37 am
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colocolo wrote:
i think the wizdish works with an extra pair of Wizshoes. anyway for a beginning solution it can be good. but i would prefer a fitness stepper or an unidirectional treadmill.

here i found something very interesting:




the one who had the idea doesnt claim any rights on it. he just wants that someone builds his machine.
if this kind of thing works, it could be something that could be produced very cheap...


I get the feeling thats thing just isn't going to work. I cant imagine the carpet shell sliding freely around that shape, particularly with the weight of person on it. And if it did it would be expensive to build.

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Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:04 am
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that might be. but anyway the idea that an elastic shell moves around a disc isnt false. perhaps one can use those high performance polymers which uses the wizdish. and u can put oil between the shell and the core. there are existing so many different polymers or other materials. perhaps one should make a proof of concept version.


Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:17 am
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@colocolo: Yeah, I've been thinking about a device like that for a while. I think it could work, but would require a lot of space and money to put together.

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Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:52 am
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yes its true it would require a lot of space. but looking into the future, i think if you wanna walk in VR, there is no choice to any small device. an omnidirectional treadmill is always a bit bigger.
people have te set new priorities concerning their lifestyle. expensive, yes... maybe....but a treadmill only cost 200 dollars.... it depends also on the quantity of parts. a car has so many parts and therefore is the most expensive of all common things. less parts less expensive i think. u also can build such things lighter....
it is a legitimate doubt i know but looking into future and its progress i think we are arriving an end of it (concerning consumer elctronics). i dont believe there will be something better than a VR HeadSet.
it will be the constraint of progress what will make those things cheap. but sure it could take some years.... :(
hopefully VR will create a big hype :D


Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:57 pm
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CyberVillain wrote:
cybereality wrote:
Well its not perfect, but it seems like a practical solution given certain constraints (size, price, etc.). If it were relatively cheap (read: under $200) then I would certainly get one just to experiment. Seems an improvement over walking in place, even if its not as great as a real setup (like the BF3 simulator). But if it were between using this device or just standing still with a controller, I think I'd take this contraption.


I would rather sit down in a chair with mouse and keyboard than using that :D


If only I had the option of controlling by body with WASD and Mouselook.

Seriously though, comments like this simply fail to 'get' VR.

It's not about bigger screen sizes with head look (although that's certainly a big part of it)... it's about immersion into a digital space.

Experience independent of material reality. Through these first pioneering steps, we move in a direction where we'll be living in a world with unlimited possibilities. In the most literal sense possible.

Keyboard and mouse does nothing to forward that notion.


As for this sliding treadmill - as a VR enthusiast, would certainly like to play around with it. But still think that with the appropriate level of calibration and sensitivity, 'walking on the spot' is the correct balance between cost, effectiveness and accessibility (which is oh-so-critical for content development). But so few people are working on it right now that it may be easy to be discouraged - I'd liken the current attempts to VR in the 80s and 90s - it's so ineffective that people might feel that it's not a possible vector of solution at all.


Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:47 am
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