Low Friction Virtual Reality Game
A high-tech VR gaming device start-up named Virtuix had raised funding based on a prototype for a virtual reality gaming device designed to allow the player to move around in the virtual world. The device harnessed the player in a stationary position in a low-friction plastic bowl, providing tactile feedback and the illusion of motion because as the player walked, they would remain stationary but their feet would glide. They wanted to move to the final production phase but their prototype supplier had not told them what materials had been used to create the prototype. With customer orders waiting to be filled, they urgently needed to know how to replicate the performance of the prototype low friction VR device material.
The client provided some information about the prototype along with a set of requirements including mechanical properties, friction properties, price point and so on. Based on the information, Phantom created a formulation designed not only to replicate the prototype behavior but to exceed it by providing a more durable surface with consistent feedback and friction.
Working within the tight time deadline set, the new material formulation was designed, compounded and molded to create the final part. Testing confirmed that the results were even better than those from the initial prototype. The low friction VR device was launched rapidly to rave reviews from the gaming community. Having tested the device hands-on at CES 2016, Tom’s Hardware exclaimed:
“Yes, it really was that much fun. No apologies for our unbridled enthusiasm.”
I would like to thank Virtuix for the opportunity to work with their team and permission to share this case study. I was impressed by their drive and dynamism which enabled them to exceed customer expectations even in the face of tight deadlines and technical challenges. Here is a link to the Virtuix website. A demonstration of their new product Omni One can be see on this page. Since its Kickstarter campaign in 2013, Virtuix has raised over $35MM from investors including Mark Cuban, 12 venture capital funds, two strategic investors, and private investors.
More on the successful fundraising for Omni One can be seen here:
Another project on low friction plastic ice rink material can be found on this page.