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It was hard for patrons to miss the Virtuix Omni booth as they roamed the show floor in the virtual reality and gaming section at CES 2016. The booth included a full stage with two Omni treadmills, manned with exhibitors demoing the product. Meanwhile two referees offered a play-by-play as the two battled in a first-person-shooter game.

After a three-minute round, the demoing exhibitors, named Edwin and Jabril were drenched in sweat. Jabril in particular had been sprinting at top speed in his harness and was the victor in at least two rounds.

Virtuix Omni treadmill is intended for home use, but several patrons and buyers at CES 2016 asked about its use in VR arcades, Virtuix exhibitor Duane Bester told iDigitalTimes. “Right now we just sell to anyone who wants one, VR enthusiasts mostly,” Bester said.

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Omni booth Photo: Fionna Agomuoh

The Omni is a treadmill style gaming pad, which, in conjunction with a VR headset, such as the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive, allows users to move as if they are apart of a game. The Omni works via USB with any PC game and via Bluetooth with any mobile game.

“Omni works with any game but the first person shooter market is the biggest for us because it’s easy,” Bester said. “But any game that you can walk around in or have the ability to move can be used with the Omni.”

The $699 product includes a harness, treadmill, shoes and sensors for each shoe. VR headsets are sold separately of course. Omni is still available only for preorder; however, Bester did divulge that one package has already shipped in December. More Omnis will be shipping in January.

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Omni shoes and sensors Photo: Fionna Agomuoh

Omni has been many years in the making. At least four years went into developing the concave treadmill gaming pad, which allows Omni shoes to glides across in a seamless, low friction manner. In 2013, Virtuix raised $150,000 in just 3.5 hours on Kickstarter and $1.1 million overall.

As exhibitor’s demos took place in the front of the booth, patrons got to test the Omni out for themselves in the back of the booth. Meanwhile, a Twitter scroll displayed reaction tweets, many, which claimed the Omni, would be the answer to all of their fitness problems.

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CES 2016 patron demoing Virtuix Omni Photo: Fionna Agomuoh

The Omni includes a pedometer and calories burned tracker, which works once a user has entered their height and weight. “One of the things we want to do is get kids up off the couch and running around,” Bester said.

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Jabril (Virtuix exhibitor) Photo: Fionna Agomuoh
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Edwin (Virtuix exhibitor) Photo: Fionna Agomuoh
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VR view Photo: Fionna Agomuoh
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Virtuix Omni Photo: Fionna Agomuoh
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