Want to cross the Sahara Desert without needing water or protection from the sun? CyberWalk. Want to walk in a 26K marathon without leaving your city? CyberWalk. Want to go on an adventure walk alongside someone living on the other side of the world and see and experience the same things at the same time? CyberWalk. Say it’s impossible? Italian and German researchers have been working on the world’s largest platform that will allow omni-directional virtual walking. The walker is given goggles, for viewing pleasure, that are attached to headgear wired to the controls; a harness keeps the walker from falling off the platform. The walker can then walk this way, or that way. Multidirectional. Getting used to the feeling of walking on this platform, in many directions, while looking into the virtual device, seems to take some time, according to the researchers, but eventually, the walker does adjusts to it. This can potentially take walking experiences to a whole new level.
Other projects, similar to CyberWalk, are also making strides (pardon the pun) in the research and development of this technology. One such project is called Cybercarpet. This invention uses a ball-bearing platform that rotates. The plate is about the size of a treadmill, and having no belt, as traditional treadmills do. View the prototype and the R&D progress at www.youtube.com, search: Cybercarpet, as well as search: Cyberwalk to look at the omni-directional platform.
The CyberWalk may not be ready for mass production yet, and it may not even have the capability to allow the walker that Saharan Desert adventure walk, but perhaps some day soon. In the meantime, here is a more simplistic layman’s (or laywoman’s) version: Strap on a bike helmet that’s connected to a Viewfinder of your favorite subject, turn on the treadmill, set the incline and speed, and have at it!
Virtual walking, cyber walking cybercarpet. Can things get any more interesting for the walker?
Always Remember: Consult your physician before starting any exercise and/or diet regimen.