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Larpushka

manual treadmill with vive trackers - possible?

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So risks aside of using a manual treadmill with VR (and the fact it's not 360), I want to know whether it's possible to use vive trackers and treadmill to achieve motion in VR? How accurate  would the motion be? Would I have to develop it myself?

And I've seen the videos of people stepping in place to achieve motion. So I assume it's possible i just want to be sure before i buy vive and trackers

-Larpushka

 

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@Larpushka The issue with all of these end-user solutions like VR treadmills is is that the software you're using has to support that type of locomotion. There isn't a standardized driver that can facilitate this at a universal level. Fortunately there is a third party driver tool call "Natural Locomotion" that specifically has support for that style of tracker based movement you're talking about (user-example). It won't work on everything as it's a middle-ware and it won't be as polished as a developer going in and developing native support but depending on the games you play - you can certainly find some games which work well with Natural Locomotion and it's one of the more popular SteamVR tools. In your case - you'd probably need to pair it with snap turning.

Alternatively, if fitness is your main goal, you can try using corridor runner games like Pistol Whip and Beat Saber and just using a treadmill without any sort of trackers. Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

As you said in your own post - this is all "do so at your own personal risk" type stuff as you're basically blind to the real world when in VR.

edit: I did some searching and apparently NoLo is flexible enough that you can even use Joycons for basic feet tracking.

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Posted (edited)

Natural locomotion is for hand usage though as far as I understand. That is to say I can stand still and move my hands and it would still move forward. 

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"Alternatively, if fitness is your main goal, you can try using corridor runner games like Pistol Whip and Beat Saber and just using a treadmill without any sort of trackers. Here's an example of what I'm talking about."

Immersion with the ability to walk and run in top-rated VR games is more of my goal... here's a video I made of me using my manual treadmill with PC games with an arduino+ Treadmill sensor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7vi-QdTzfc&t=50s (me doing it with PC games in Kingdom Come Deliverance)

Right now setting my goals on Half-Life Alyx, Skyrim, etc... 

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As you said in your own post - this is all "do so at your own personal risk" type stuff as you're basically blind to the real world when in VR.

True, but I recently found out that pressing your elbows against the holding rails of the treadmill helps reduce accidents and motion sickness since it gives you some sense of orientation, but I haven't tested it for long runs. 

 

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edit: I did some searching and apparently NoLo is flexible enough that you can even use Joycons for basic feet tracking.

Interesting, but I didn't see the actual video of it working. So far I've seen several ideas for a solution but none of them made a video of it working naturally on a treadmill.

Vive Trackers seem like the least clumsy solution. There's AgileVR. But in both those solutions I didn't see if it's possible to script such a solution with those devices. I don't wanna undertake something technically impossible.

Edited by Larpushka

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They added feet tracking support in Dec 2018 - it's just not something that's heavily discussed on forums and the like because not a ton of consumers have 2 trackers. Their solution is super flexible though and they'll accept "feet" input from a wide range of tracked devices.

 

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Problem is that I don't see any parameters I could change in terms of calibration since I'm not gonna be walking in place but using a treadmill, so I could be running like Usain Bolt (theoretically 🙄) and it would give me a much slower pace, or perhaps could be going really slowly on my treadmill and it would run pretty fast in the game. It seems I have no way to calibrate it. Correct? Even if I had to calibrate it per game that's OK, that's what I do with my current design for PC games. 

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On 4/16/2020 at 12:52 AM, Larpushka said:

Problem is that I don't see any parameters I could change in terms of calibration since I'm not gonna be walking in place but using a treadmill, so I could be running like Usain Bolt (theoretically 🙄) and it would give me a much slower pace, or perhaps could be going really slowly on my treadmill and it would run pretty fast in the game. It seems I have no way to calibrate it. Correct? Even if I had to calibrate it per game that's OK, that's what I do with my current design for PC games. 

Electronic technology machines are difficult to change because it is pre-programmed, you must be a good programmer and understand it to be able to do it. Good luck

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That's basically telling me "you need to work hard and be smart to get it done', I was looking for more practical and specific information and not guru advice.

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He's not wrong though. All of these games are programmed to receive specific inputs. VR is very non-standardized and there's a huge range of how developers implement movement and other systems in their games backend.

Systems like Natural Locomotion attempt to leverage OpenVR's driver level manipulation to try and emulate standardized input across a huge range of target applications. It's pretty cool that it works at all and you'll only find stuff like this in the SteamVR ecosystem right now.

Unless a developer is going in and adding native support for a given use-case or product (i.e. treadmill) - you're firmly in the world of modding and modding is a huge amount of trial &  error, deconstructing, and reverse engineering.

Natural locomotion does work with treadmills in a general sense but how it will work is a per-application type of thing.

 

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