A peculiar do of Austrian entrepreneurs, Igor Mitric and Michael Bieglmayer, head a virtual reality brand called Cybershoes. You may have heard that name in October 2018, when your Kickstarter campaign reached full funding, even exceeding its limit, in just two hours.
With a thousand sponsors and $ 247,674 raised, the campaign says Cybershoes are the world's first virtual reality shoes that promise to immerse players in video games using natural movements. To test it we tested them at CES 2019, and the experience left us more surprised than we expected.
INSIDE THE WORLD OF SKYRIM
The booth had two demonstration stations, one with Doom VFR and the other with Skyrim VR. As we did not feel like entering the Catholic rhythm of Doom, we chose to try the Cybershoes to play Skyrim. After sitting in the chair, the team quickly adjusted to our shoes, we put a headset Live on the head and so easy we were in the world of Skyrim. Literally.
At first we don't know how to move and try to skate on a dirt road. It was not very effective. Then they told us to lift our feet and, in doing so, we began to move quickly. The slow and uncomfortable movements became small quick jumps, and after a few minutes we were climbing hills and throwing arrows at the wolves without thinking about what we were doing with our feet.
Sadly, our experience did not last long. A giant came and hit us with a stick, and that was it. The VR glasses and shoes went out, and to our disappointment, the demonstration ended.
We must confess something: before diving into action, we put on Cybershoes with some reservations. Surely, we think, they won't be intuitive or feel natural. But now, our skepticism has vanished. The shoes are easy to use, comfortable, and worked very well to play an open-world video game like Skyrim. In the real world, we were anchored in one place, but in the game we were able to roam freely through the virtual landscape.
NOT EVERYTHING IS ROSY
Cybershoes are not the only ones, but they outperform their competition for being a more compact alternative for walking and running in virtual reality. Although the design seems pretty basic, you will soon realize that these virtual shoes are not as simple or compact as they look. However, you will need a long list of very specific items to use them correctly. The list includes a fixed chair that rotates on its axis like a stool, a carpeted area of at least 60 inches with a short and uniform texture, and a VR headset that supports SteamVR applications, particularly those that use free movement.
Cable management is another situation that you will have to face, since turning in a chair means that you will inevitably end up entangled. Although in its Kickstarter page you can find some very good suggestions to avoid this problem, it is another thing that you should keep in mind when you buy them. There is a reason why the Kickstarter campaign offered Cybershoes bundles, and not just independent shoes. Without those packages with extra products included, you are likely to pay more to recreate the perfect configuration for these shoes.
Anyway, before making the decision to buy our own Cybershoes, I think we will need a little more time wandering the world of Skyrim.