“The Alto is like a mouse for your body in immersive VR and AR environments right now, but it’s also the user interface for the internet of the future”, says Dr. Puya Abolfathi, CEO and co-founder of Visospace.
The latest attempt at bringing complete freedom of movement to VR experiences, the Alto100 promises omnidirectional locomotion via a specialized platform upon which a user can choose the direction they’d like to move via a system of leans and tilts. The team designed the idiosyncratic system to work in conjunction with any VR space, whether it be a simplistic mobile experience, or the full room-scale environment of PC-based VR.
This means that a user could theoretically use the Aldo platform to travel great distances in-game, and then stop off to continue moving on foot. This is a unique take on movement in VR which sets itself apart from current locomotion solutions by ditching the conventional, strap-based system in favor of tetherless free-roaming. The team also claims the device will provide various haptic feedback elements to ensure even further immersion.
The main goal of this campaign is to eventually build a committed developer community in which to support the device with an ever-growing ecosystem . By contributing $790 AUD (~$600 USD) you’ll receive one of the first available Alpha prototypes to begin building your own experiences with as soon as September 2018. Not a developer, but still feel like helping the team out? The company is also offering $25 and $10 AUD (~$19 and $7.50 USD respectively) levels of contribution as well.
At the time of this articles publishing, Visospace is less than $2,000 short of their $10,000 goal. The profits raised will be used specifically for the tooling, development, and eventual shipment of Alto to it’s backers. The experiences and traction developed through this first round will aid in a ramp up to a second crowdfunding campaign targeted at consumers and location-based/enterprise customers later this year.
Based on the video provided above it appears as though the company already has several ideas for various use-case scenarios, from extreme activities such as snowboarding and skiing, to more grounded, practical purposes such as basic walking locomotion. Of course it will be up to developers to truly take this new peripheral to the next level as they begin experimenting with its potential capabilities.
Image Credit: Visospace