So what is Omni exactly? Omni is a capturing device of sorts, meaning it records your movements in real time and translates them into directional buttons in the game as if you were playing with a keyboard. The real difference? It works, and it doesn’t require any extra interfacing with the games you want to play.
Omni therefore can be used with any game that uses keyboard input – you can even customize the control inputs to your liking, pending if you wanted your turning left to actually be your shoot command or something. The implications of Omni’s usability with the Oculus Rift are extremely exciting, giving you total immersion into your games.
Omni has no moving parts, meaning it’s less costly to make and therefore more affordable to own. It also breaks down easily for storage when you’re not playing. While Kinect is trying to record your movements with a camera, Omni is recording your movements directly, the results are astonishing:
This is Omni working in tandem with the Oculus Rift, a head mounted display that gives you total visual immersion. Coming from this, Omni would allow you to go for a daily run in your favorite video games. They use the example of taking a jog in Skyrim, while my choice would obviously be Fallout 3.
Omni even has a built in pedometer and calorie burn calculator. Omni combined with the Oculus Rift gives you the total immersion to your favorite games you’ve always wanted.
Think Omni isn’t applicable to multiplayer games? They’ve got you covered, since Omni is merely a new method of input commands, the transition is seamless – even to frantic and competitive shooters like Team Fortress 2:
So now that you have your movement and vision immersion covered, how do you actually interface with things within the game? Since we don’t have neural implants or giant brain sockets yet, you still have to use a gaming controller or peripheral to map out your various actions in game, whether they be shooting, melee, etc. Omni is compatible with the Razer Hydra and many other gaming controllers though.
I haven’t actually tried out the Omni myself, while the movement capturing itself looks great, the peripherals used for aiming seem like they’re hit or miss though, which is unfortunate. I think the problem is that everything isn’t uniform, in one system, considering all three peripherals seen below are from three different companies:
I’m actually not sure why the aiming seems so wonky in the Half Life 2 video as compared to Team Fortress 2, could it be that HL2 is a bit older and may be less compatible with aiming peripherals? I’m sure there’s an explanation for it, but the Omni and Oculus Rift working in tandem definitely give amazing results.
It fills me with inspiration that there are still people in the industry dedicated to bringing us even closer to interfacing with the virtual worlds developers create, to make our fantasies from years ago a reality today. Omni will be funded in eight days, they’ve gotten multiple times the amount they were asking for on Kickstarter and I applaud them for providing an exciting product.