by Nahiyan Ahmad Sept. 8, 2022
A mini avatar within line of sight gives users real-time positional awareness on their treadmills.
So how can running on a treadmill while wearing a VR headset be safe? With Octonic, VR running is completely safe and secure. We tested Octonic’s technology in-person with 80 running enthusiasts at the UK National Running Show earlier this year with great success. In addition, our demo product was distributed to over 1,500 VR enthusiasts, and in all cases we have had positive safety results and recorded no falls or accidents. Whether running or walking through our virtual environments, you’ll be in good shape, in more ways than one!
How did we do it? We’ve leveraged vast knowledge from our previous experience in location-based VR, where we showcased VR, including motion simulators and treadmills, to thousands of guests. In the process, we gathered key insights and data points that informed the build of our system. Our research led us to develop Octonic’s Safety Engine around real-time position tracking, a departure warning system, and an automatic stop and passthrough feature.
Positional awareness is key to our balance and direction as runners, so we’ve implemented a solution to give users insights into their treadmill location while running in VR. Our system tracks users in real time, thanks to a quick pre-run calibration, giving them live information about their position on the treadmill belt. A mini avatar within users’ line of sight, in addition to an augmented safety zone and a visible treadmill belt below the user, give runners complete assurances about their placement.
Our departure warning system builds on this awareness by informing runners about positional shifts from the treadmill’s safety zone. When shifting to the right or left, both visual and audio cues will direct users to correct their placement. Once back within the safety zone, runners can continue to enjoy their VR workout without disruptive signals.
An automatic stop and passthrough feature provides a heightened level of safety during exercise. When a user veers exceedingly far from the safety zone, the treadmill will come to a stop (our integrated treadmill version) and the headset’s passthrough feature will be enabled, ending the workout.
A peek at Octonic’s proprietary safety system.
Exercising in VR will be as seamless as it is in the real world, thanks to Octonic’s Safety Engine. If you have any questions about our product, please comment, and we’ll be sure to follow up promptly.
Be on the lookout for an upcoming post about how we made your VR running experience not only safe, but also comfortable and free of motion sickness.
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by Nahiyan Ahmad April 22, 2022
Ever get bored with treadmill running? It’s a common issue, and you’re definitely not alone. Today’s fitness treadmill experience quite often is monotonous and isolating, even when supplemented with video screens and headphones. Despite helping us get in shape, treadmills can do more to capture our interest and get us engaged.