Robot boots made for exploring virtual reality (VR) worlds are now coming to market. This marks our latest step toward a Ready Player One-type future. The boots, dubbed Eckto One, aim to allow people to walk through VR worlds while remaining stationary IRL. Also, the boots have the bonus effect of making users look like they’re pulling off the best moonwalk ever.
SingularityHub reported on the robot boots, which Pittsburgh-based tech company Ekto VR has developed over the last four years. In the above video, which VR Trailers & Clips posted, Ekto puts on a demonstration of the boots in action. Not only do the boots perform well, but they also make for a trippy sight. (Pun aside, apparently it’s actually quite hard to trip in the boots.)
In regards to how the boots pull off their magic feat, Ekto’s explainer immediately above outlines how they work. Essentially, the battery-powered boots have motorized wheels on them, which can cancel out movement in any direction. I.e. the boots match users’ motion forwards, backwards, and side to side by moving their wheels in the opposite direction.
Immediately above is a video that VR Lab Hubneo posted, offering a clearer look at the way the boots work. While the pair in the video look like prototypes, they still show how the Ekto One boots work generally.
In terms of logistics, the boots fit most shoe sizes and types, and they’re compatible with VR platforms like Oculus. Their main function will be, as of right now, to aid workers looking to train in VR scenarios. For example, trainees in industrial sectors could explore hazardous environments before visiting them. As for mass market arrival, however, or even a price tag, the specifics are unclear. But odds are the boots will require some next-level walking-around money.
Featured Image: EKTO VR