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Kickstarter众筹成功后 中国全向VR跑步机再获天使融资

在Kicksterter完成其全向虚拟现实跑步机的众筹活动六个月之后,中国的KatVR又成功获得了天使资金。

投资方包括九合创投、鑫源投资和金福投资,投资额总计约100万美元。这部分资金会被用以扩大生产、产品推广和研发。

Kat Walk去年夏天发起众筹,预计目标10万美元。最终,它获得了231位投资人支持,筹资金额总计149278美元。Kat Walk的产品可以跟大多数虚拟现实系统匹配,但不包括虚拟现实硬件。Gallen表示Kat Walk之后将会支持HTC新品HTC Vive.

去年在上海,我拿到了Kat Walk的样品。它看起来就像是一个巨大的婴儿车。有安全带可以系在玩家的腰部和胯部,这样玩家就可以固定在底座中央。玩家的手臂可以随着机器的中心柱而上下,这样玩家就可以跳起来或者蹲下。当然,你还可以全方位的旋转。

Kat执行总裁Kaye Pang表示,Kat Walk可以完美适配第一人称射击游戏(FPS),并且可以模拟自然行走和灵活的动作。同时还可以和RPG一起应用于虚拟现实环境完成军事或警方的训练计划。她说通过实际操作控制虚拟现实可以让人更加身临其境,也可以减少模拟者的损伤。

我见到过这款产品用于穿越火线和侠盗猎车手5的样品。因为产品可支持所有使用键盘或手柄的游戏,因为能否支持某款特定游戏,全看游戏开发人员。

工作人员希望从四月份开始陆续发货,但是这中间出了一点小状况。“我们可能不能按照原计划发货。预计会延迟几周,但我们会尽量追赶进度。”Gallen说。

虚拟现实本身就需要高配的电脑来支持。而Kat Walk又是一个非常昂贵的虚拟现实设备。但对那些虚拟现实的爱好者来说,Kat Walk也许能带来顶级的身临其境的体验。

Just over six months after wrapping up a successful Kickstarter campaign for its omni-directional VR treadmill, the team at China’s KatVR have secured angel funding.

The investment amounts to about US$1 million, explains KatVR brand manager Gallen Gao to Tech in Asia, from Unity Ventures, Xinyuan Investment, Jinfu Investment. It will be used for mass production, marketing, and R&D.

The Kat Walk last summer sailed past its US$100,000 goal to raise US$149,278 from 231 backers. It’s designed to work with most VR systems – not including the VR hardware. The Kat Walk will work with the new HTC Vive, Gallen confirms.

I got a demo of Kat Walk in action in Shanghai last year. The whole thing looks like a giant baby bouncer. The harness goes around a gamer’s waist and crotch so that you stay central on the base. The top limb goes up and down on the device’s spine so that you can jump or even crouch down. And, of course, you can turn in any direction.

Kaye Pang, KatVR’s CEO, explains that it’s designed to work well with first-person shooter (FPS) games, and is meant to allow for natural walking and flexible movements. It also works with RPGs and can be used in VR environments for training purposes, such as for the military or police. She says controlling VR by actually moving makes it more immersive and reduces simulator sickness.

I saw it demoed both with Crossfire and Grand Theft Auto 5. While the kit supports any game that uses a keyboard or controller, it will be up to game developers to add in support for the hardware, so specific game support is up in the air at the moment.

The team was hoping to start shipping the Kat Walk in April, but there have been some small stumbles. “We are a little behind schedule. The delivery may be delayed for a few weeks, but we are very close to our previous estimations,” says Gallen.

VR is already a pricey toy that requires a hefty gaming PC to power it. Throw in the Kat Walk rig and it’s an extraordinarily expensive bit of kit. But for those already hooked to the idea of VR, it looks to offer an extremely immersive experience.


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