Moving your virtual body around has been quite a problem to solve when it comes to consumer VR. The great hope, at least for a while, was the omnidirectional treadmill. Unfortunately they turned out to be too bulky and expensive overall. So far no one has really brought a viable consumer version to market. Room-scale tracking is one way to go about it, but that limits you to a relatively small space. The mainstream solution has been traditional thumbstick controls, but we’ve also seen some foot controllers that at least liberate your hands from also doubling as virtual feet.
VRGO has a different idea though. They think we can all scoot around the VR world using our butts. That’s right, the answer to VR locomotion might be a butt controller.
No Ifs or Butts
It’s called the VRGO Mini and it’s the product of a Kickstarter project. The concept is pretty ingenious actually. You put the mini on your chair and then you sit on the mini. Changes in your center of gravity become control inputs. So if you lean forward a bit, your character moves in that direction. The degree of lean gives you analogue control over your speed.
It’s a wireless system that has integrated haptic technology in the higher-end model to give you feedback. With the VRGO Mini, seated VR experiences have the potential to become much more expansive and convenient.
It has a few color and fabric options and is rated for weights up to 150KG, which should accommodate most people who also fit into chairs. The Mini already has both Steam and Oculus compatibility.
At the time of writing the Kickstarter is still ongoing, with another $5000 needed to reach its goal. For 119 GBP you’ll get an early-bird base model of the device. This butt-centric device is certainly a breath of fresh air when it comes to an issue that everyone else seems unable to solve. We’ll be looking forward to the first butts-on impression of the Mini.