Best VR Treadmills Review: KAT Walk Mini vs Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2 vs Virtuix Omni 2022

Best VR Treadmills Review: KAT Walk Mini vs Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2 vs Virtuix Omni

VR Treadmills Review: Comparing KAT Walk Mini vs Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2 vs Virtuix Omni. See the full comparing video at the bottom of the post for a better understanding.

I have worked with many VR input devices over the last years, such as the VR omnidirectional treadmills. Today, I will make a hands-on review of the most popular VR-running platforms. Let’s have a look at the ups and downs of the KAT Walk Mini, the Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2, and the Virtuix Omni. 

Virtual Reality Treadmills give you a freedom that classical room-scale VR can not: you can walk and run for miles and not hit the walls of your room. Compared to moving through the world with thumbstick movement, exploring virtual worlds on your legs in a treadmill gives you a much better spatial experience, and thus raises the immersion in VR to a whole new level. 

In this post, I’m going to compare three omnidirectional VR treadmills to each other: the Virtuix Omni, The Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2, And the KatWalk Mini. I’ll tell you about various aspects of the omnidirectional VR walking platform, such as overall handling, the precision of movement, and how they feel in VR.

1. Design

Kat Walk Mini

At the Kat Walk mini, you notice the LED lights immediately, but they are only for optical purposes and don’t have any functionality. Also, you might notice that the player is fixed from behind. The strap of the KatWalk mini is made of fabric and includes two leg parts. 

The base plate is slightly curved. If you take a close look at KatWalk Mini VR omnidirectional treadmill, you will see that it is thoroughly scratched. That’s because hard plastic slippers glide over a low-quality plastic surface. 

You can enter the device via stairs. The rotatable framework can be locked with a handle, which is very useful for entering the device. The Kat Walk mini is a passive device. 

Virtuix Omni

At first glance, the Omni VR walking platform looks massive. The device is made of plastic. The ring can be opened. The belt is made of fabric and has 2 metal side parts. This model has leg parts, but newer versions sold as Omni 2.0 no longer have leg parts. 

The cable routing of the Omni is not integrated into the system but is available as an additional accessory. The floor platform is curved. Two handles on the sides are responsible for the height adjustment. A floor mat also serves as assembly instructions. Like the Katwalk Mini, the Omni is a purely passive device. 

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

Similar to the Kat Walk Mini, the platform of the Virtualizer Elite 2 is about 20 cm above the ground. In contrast to the two other devices, the Virtualizer Elite 2 is an active system. It adapts to the user’s movement because of the platform’s active technology. 

The device is also the only one with a safety locking function. The Virtualizer can be used with both a locked and an unlocked ring. “Locked” means that the height of the ring is fixed, which provides absolute safety. This is recommended for beginners. 

You can temporarily unlock the ring with a handle to enter and leave the device and to adjust the height. You can easily switch between the locked and unlocked mode through the 3 safety locks. “unlocked” means that the ring is free to move vertically while playing. 

This leads to maximum movement range and is recommended for experienced users. The material of the device is based on metal. The belt is padded and has no leg parts. A cable holder for the cables of the VR Headset is integrated. 

Furthermore, the Virtualizer is the only device with implemented haptic feedback. A vibration unit is built into the floor and is therefore not visually visible from the outside. 

Conclusion

The preferred design is a matter of taste, of course. The Kat Walk and the Omni look like gaming gadgets. In particular, the LED Lights of the Kat Walk are standing out. The Virtualizer, on the other hand, has a classically modest metallic design that blends into the room. 

2. Accessories 

Kat Walk Mini

The only accessories that come with the Katwalk mini are shoe covers and plastic knobs. There are shoe covers in four different sizes included. The material is rubber with plastic knobs, which are kind of slippery. 

When you wear the shoe covers you can feel the hard knobs through the sole. This leads to uncomfortable pressure points when you walk. 

Virtuix Omni

Compared to the other devices, the Omni has more accessories. The Omni requires belts in 3 different sizes as well as special shoes that are available in all standard shoe sizes. Additionally to these Shoes, the company also offers Shoe Covers now, which I could not test. 

If you have shoes fitting your size, the Omni Shoes are comfortable. For commercial use, like for Arcades or Events, you will require to have many pairs of shoes ready, so that you have a fitting one for everybody. Tracking Pods are required to operate the device. 

These tracking pods need to be mounted on the Omni Shoes – or Shoe Covers, respectively. They track the movement of the feet. The cable holder is a separate accessory that can be purchased in an online store. 

Also, there used to be a special Omni soap for cleaning the floor platform, but it is no longer available on the website. 

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

The only accessories of the Virtualizer Elite 2 are shoe covers, which are included in the two available sizes: Small & Large. The shoe covers are made of a very soft fabric. 

Therefore you will hardly feel them while wearing them. In addition to that, the virtualizer comes with a bottle of oil for the maintenance of the baseplate. 

Conclusion

A complete Omni Setup is divided into many individual parts, you need a lot of accessories to be able to operate the device properly.

With the Virtualizer Elite 2, everything is included; the customer receives a complete package. Except for the overshoes, everything is built into the device. 

The Kat Walk mini is the only device that has no cable routing for PC-based HMDs. Instead, you have to develop your solution or buy something that can serve as a solution. 

While both the Virtualizer and the Kat Walk come with most components integrated, the Omni is different: It is the only device that has no built-in sensors. You have to mount them on your shoes. 

Moreover, the Omni is the only device with different belts that must be replaced. In contrast to the Omni, the belt systems of the Virtualizer and the Kat Walk mini are adjustable in size so that many different users can fit in. 

3. Entering In the VR Treadmills

Kat Walk Mini

For using the Kat Walk Mini, you need to put on the shoe covers over your normal flat shoes first. Once they fit properly, you need to adjust the height of the device. After that, you enter the KatWalk mini from the stairs at the front. 

You open the waist strap and safety buckle, enter it and close it around your waist. Then you close the leg straps. When that is done you can try to walk a few steps in the Kat Walk mini. 

Virtuix Omni

When you want to use the Omni you put on the special Omni shoes first. Then the sensors must be switched on and clipped onto the shoes. There is an indicator light in the sensors so you can easily understand whether it is ON or OFF. 

Choose the right belt for you from three different sizes and put it in the Omni’s ring. The belt is rather heavy and looks massive. Now, step on the platform and into the belt. Close the door, and adjust the height of the Virtuix Omni VR treadmill. 

To adjust the height, open the two handles below with your feet. Then move the ring upwards and lock the handles at the right height, making sure that the ring clicks into place. Now fasten the belt. 

With this version of the Omni, assemble the leg parts, which are no longer available in the new version. After you’ve finished all these steps, you can start walking. 

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

The Virtualizer’s flexible shoe covers are simply pulled over your normal flat shoes. After that, you move the ring downwards. You can either get directly into the ring or you can get onto the platform first and from that into the ring, which is a bit easier. 

Then, you move the ring of the Virtualizer to the height of your hip. You close the belt on both sides, by pulling on two straps. Now, activate the motion platform so that it tilts, and you are ready to walk. 

Conclusion

Getting started with Omni takes much longer than with the other products. The reason is the requirement for putting on special shoes, attaching sensors to them, adjusting the height, and replacing the belt. Due to the very long and complex setup compared to the other devices, I give the Omni one and a half stars in this chapter. 

The Virtualizer was the quickest to get started with, because of the vertical freedom of movement of the ring, the universally compatible belt system, and the overshoes. While it is fast and rather easy to get into the Virtualizer, it remains to be an additional effort. I give it four out of five stars. 

Entry into the Katwalk was also quite quick, but not as fast as in the Virtualizer, mainly due to the complicated handling of the leg straps. The footstep of KatWalk is comforting the process of getting in. Therefore, I give three stars to the Kat Walk. 

Kat Walk Mini

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Virtuix Omni

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4. Walking Concept

Kat Walk Mini

Now, let’s get to the most important part: Walking in the VR treadmills. Walking in the Kat Walk mini is challenging. To do a simple step you have to lean forward very heavily, to initiate your foot to glide back. 

This requires much strain and is tough for beginners. Moreover, you have to trust the device, because you have to lean in with your whole body weight. You will see the steps look very unnatural. They also feel unnatural. The steps you will do are very short. 

Walking like this for a longer period is almost impossible. Several online videos show an alternative way to walk in the KatWalk mini. The problem is that this alternative way of moving feels like a weird form of jumping motion rather than walking. 

You will see, you slightly jump to the top, put one leg to the front, and pull it back to imitate a step. This is not like real walking at all and it feels very unnatural. This way of moving is exhausting, especially as you are not used to doing such a jumping movement. 

Virtuix Omni

The Omni has a curved base plate. Unlike in the other devices, the user leaves the center of the Omni. The user physically moves forwards to stand over the inclined part of the platform. According to the manufacturer, this should simplify the movement. 

From practical experience, however, constant forward pressure of the body is necessary to be able to walk. This is a bit exhausting and not too intuitive. You will see that the device lifts off while walking, despite its heavy construction. 

The step length in the Omni is shorter than the normal walking step length, but it is longer than in the KatWalk mini. Walking in the Omni is possible with a little practice but it still feels unnatural. 

The force you have to bring up for walking in the Omni is high but still less than in the Kat Walk mini. As the shape of the bowl can not be adjusted to individual body measurements and mass, the Omni provides a varying experience to different users. 

It appears that walking in the Omni is much harder for some users compared to others. Especially users with long legs have a hard time using the Omni. 

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

The actively driven motion platform of the Virtualizer tilts upwards in front of the user to make it easier to walk in this device. The so-created slope of the inclined platform allows the legs to slide back easily. This means that it is not necessary to push forwards. 

Correct adjustment of the motion platform allows the legs to slide back effortlessly. You put one foot in front of the other and let your leg slide back, which happens by itself. Here you can see the comparison between my normal steps and my steps in Virtualizer in the picture. 

In the Virtualizer VR walking platform, the step length is quite similar to my normal step. Although you walk on an inclined plane it does not feel like walking uphill, as you’re not lifting your entire body. If you lower the inclination of the slope, which can be done by a switch, it’s harder to walk, because you have to lean your hips forward. 

The higher the inclination, the easier the legs slide backward. Walking in the Virtualizer Elite 2 is very intuitive and feels very natural. As we will see later, the platform also reacts and adapts to other movements than walking. 

Conclusion

The conclusion of the walking concept results in a clear ranking of the devices and shows the major differences between the products. On one hand, walking in the Kat Walk mini is hardly possible and can only be performed with great effort. This is why an unintuitive jumping walking movement is common. Because of this, I can justify only half a star for the Kat Walk Minis walking concept. 

On the other hand, it is particularly intuitive to walk in the Virtualizer Elite 2 due to its active system. That’s why it’s the easiest for new users to learn – you just start to walk. As the movement is not 100% the same as normal walking though, the Virtualizer gets four out of five stars. 

The movement in the Omni is ranked between that of the KatWalk mini and the Virtualizer. The Omni does not allow the platform to be adapted to the user. As with the KatWalk, constant pressure must be applied to the front to be able to walk. 

However, with the Omni, it is not as bad as with the Kat Walk mini. Leaving the center allows one to make some use of the curved shape, which is not possible with the Kat Walk. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. 

Kat Walk Mini

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

Virtuix Omni

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

Rating: 4 out of 5.

5. Walking Analysis

KAT Walk Mini vs. Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2 vs. Virtuix Omni Walking Analysis
KAT Walk Mini vs. Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2 vs. Virtuix Omni Walking Analysis

Kat Walk Mini

Now, let’s have a look at the walking movement in detail. First, we analyze the step lengths The steps at KatWalk mini are the shortest and they are very different as you can see. On the top right, I insert the tilt of my upper body, which is very high at KatWalk mini.

This tilt represents the force I need to apply to get my feet to slide back. In comparison to normal steps, the upper body is leaned forwards strongly and the steps are extremely small. 

Virtuix Omni

The step length in the Omni is longer than in the KatWalk mini. The steps are more constant than in the Kat Walk. The tilt of my upper body is less compared to the KatWalk but remains visible, as I need to push forwards constantly.

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

In the Virtualizer Elite 2, the step length is significantly longer. The individual steps are also much more constant. The step length in the Virtualizer Elite 2 is just slightly shorter than on the floor. My body is leaning forwards very slightly. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the walking movement in the Virtualizer is more natural and intuitive than in the other devices. Analyzing the walking movement shows that the length of the steps is only slightly shorter compared to my normal step length. My steps are very constant and the posture of my upper body looks good. Thus, I give the Virtualizer almost five stars in this category. 

The Omni and KatWalk can be used as gaming devices that do not require that much realism. The length of steps in the Omni is shorter compared to the Virtualizer and the steps are also less consistent. The tilt of the upper body indicates the constant force that needs to be applied to the front to allow for walking. Overall, I’ll give three stars to Omni. 

In this category, Kat Walk shows the worst results. The steps are too short and very inconsistent. Also, the force that needs to be applied to the front is the highest of all devices. I give one star for this. Although the Virtualizer Elite 2 shows very good results, walking in any of these devices is not 100% the same as walking on normal ground. 

Kat Walk Mini Virtuix Omni Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2
Con: Only short steps are possiblePro: Good enough for gamingPro: Intuitive and effortless walking
Con: Exhausting to walkCon: Shorter steps than normalPro: Almost normal step length
Con: Very unnatural walking poseCon: Tilted upper bodyPro: Almost natural walking pose

Kat Walk Mini

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Virtuix Omni

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

6. Movements

Now let’s take a look at all other Movements, for example running, walking backward, jumping, and so on. 

Running

Natural movement in the Kat Walk Mini is very difficult, as we have seen before. In the KatWalk Mini Running is even more difficult than walking. 

Running in the Omni works rather well. It seems that walking in the Omni is much harder for many people compared to running. 

In the Virtualizer, it is more exhausting to run than to walk, too. Some practice is required to optimize the running movement. In the end, it works fine though. 

Backward

Walking backward is nearly impossible in the Katwalk Mini. Moreover, the backward motion has no impact on the software. To go backward in VR you have to put one leg to the back instead. This is not a realistic simulation of walking backward. 

In Omni, walking backward is very difficult. You can do little steps. 

In the Virtualizer you have to push your bodyweight back to initiate walking backward. As soon as the device has recognized that the user wants to walk backward, the platform moves downwards at the front accordingly. This makes walking backward much easier and it is also possible to walk like this for a longer time. 

Strafing

Strafing is not possible in the Kat Walk mini. According to the instructions, you just have to put one leg to the side to walk sideways in virtual reality. Honestly, I have never managed to make it work. Is this a software or a hardware problem? I don’t know, I never found out. 

In Omni, you cannot physically walk sideways either. Instead, you put your foot to one side and wipe it inwards to virtually go to the corresponding side. Like the other devices, the Omni does not offer a realistic simulation of the sideways movement. 

The Virtualizer does not allow you to walk sideways. You always move forwards or backward relative to your body orientation. 

Jumping

In KatWalk mini, it’s not possible to jump. Indeed, you could jump up but then the height adjustment system locks at a higher position and you can’t get back down to the initial position. 

In Omni, it is not possible to jump at all. The belt is fixed in the ring and cannot be moved vertically. 

In the Virtualizer it is possible to jump, but depending on your height you shouldn’t jump too high, because the device only allows for a certain maximum height. 

Crouching

In Kat Walk mini the crouching motion is limited. I cannot reach the ground completely to pick up an object.

It is not possible to crouch in the Omni. As mentioned already, the belt and the ring are fixed in height. You can’t even nearly reach the ground and therefore you are more restricted in your movement than with the other devices. 

In the Virtualizer, the belt can be moved down very far, so it is possible to crouch or kneel. I can reach the floor of the platform without any problems and therefore I can also pick up virtual objects from the floor. 

Rotate While Walking

In Kat Walk mini you can rotate without a problem while performing the Kat Walk “walking” movement. 

In the Omni, turning while walking is only possible with greater effort because the heavy belt presses against the ring. 

In the Virtualizer it’s also possible to rotate while walking without a problem. 

Crouched Walking

You can also do the unnatural walking movement while crouching in the Kat Walk Mini. 

In Omni, it is not possible to crouch. So, it’s not possible to crouch-walk as well. 

Crouch-walking is also possible in the Virtualizer, but this requires more practice than walking normally. 

Freedom of Arms

In the Kat Walk Mini VR running platform, the freedom of movement of the arms is unrestricted, as no components are blocking the way. You can rotate freely without hitting your hands on the device. 

In the Omni, the arms are free in the upper area, but they are restricted below. Due to the side brackets of the belt, you can easily hit your elbows or forearms. The ring holder of the Omni also interferes with the freedom of movement of the arms in the lower area. You should also be careful if you hold on to the ring of the Omni, as the brackets of the belt can hit your hands. 

You can move your arms sufficiently freely in the Virtualizer Elite 2, the hands are not restricted in the upper area, but the rods that connect the ring with the three pillars interfere with the freedom of movement in the lower area. The distance to the 3 outer posts is large enough not to touch them – even when kneeling. 

Crouching Movement in VR

Now, let’s check the crouching movement in VR: As previously explained, the user can not reach the floor in the Kat Walk Mini. However, I have limited crouching ability, which might help in some applications like shooting VR games

In the Omni, I can not crouch at all. So, I can not reach the virtual ground as well. 

In the Virtualizer it is no problem to reach the floor, as I can physically crouch easily. 

Conclusion

While the freedom of movement of the arms with the Kat Walk Mini is convincing, none of the other movements of this VR device are. It is not possible to walk or run naturally, putting the leg back does not represent a realistic simulation of walking backward.

Walking sideways did not work for me at all. In addition, it is not possible to reach the ground. Also, it’s practically not possible to jump as the belt slides higher and higher. It gets one star due to the good freedom of the arms and a half for the limited ability of crouching. The other movements don’t deserve any extra points in my opinion. 

In the Virtualizer, the freedom of movement in unlocked mode is very good. The device allows you to walk and to run and go backward, which is possible in a realistic way. Walking sideways, however, is not supported. The vertical freedom of movement allows you to crouch and kneel to reach the ground effortlessly.

This freedom also allows the user to make smaller jumps. The motion platform adapts to both: the backward movement and the walking movement, which makes these movements easier. Generally, arm freedom is sufficient.

In the upper area, it’s very good, but it is disturbed in the lower area by the 3 rods holding the ring. I give it four out of five stars. One star is deducted for the slightly limited freedom of arms and because strafing is not supported. All the other movements are fine. 

With the Omni, the freedom of movement is restricted. Running is possible in the Omni. Walking backward is possible, but it can’t be done realistically. But since walking backward is not nearly as important as walking forwards, it might work well enough for many applications.

While moving sideways is also supported by the system, it is not an intuitive walking movement, but a form of gesture control. Since the ring of the Omni is permanently fixed, it is not possible to crouch. Therefore it’s not possible to pick up an object from the floor.

You cannot jump either for the same reason. The freedom of movement of the arms can also be described as sufficient here. As not being able to crouch at all is very intrusive in many applications, from me, the Omni gets two and a half stars in this category. 

Kat Walk Mini

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Virtuix Omni

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

Rating: 4 out of 5.

7. Sensor System

Kat Walk Mini

The Kat Walk Mini uses contactless sensor technology to detect movement. 

Virtuix Omni

The sensor system of the Omni consists of IMU sensors that are mounted onto the shoes. Interestingly, the sensors measure the rotation of the feet and interpret them as a walking movement. 

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

The sensor system of the Virtualizer consists of small cameras that are embedded in the floor platform. The cameras measure the sliding movement of the feet. 

Latency

In this chapter, I measure the latency of the individual devices. To do this, I go inside the device and then stop abruptly. The displayed latency is given in frames and it is intended as a guiding value, one frame corresponds to 40 ms. 

When you’re playing in the Kat Walk Mini, you can feel the latency. In the first test, it was 6 frames, almost 240 ms, which corresponds to almost a quarter of a second. In the second attempt, the latency was 13 frames, which corresponds to over half a second.

In the third test, however, the latency was only 3 frames, which corresponds to 120 ms. In the fourth attempt, the latency was 17 frames, which corresponds to 680 ms. This is a noticeable latency. From the data, you will see that the latency is not only noticeable for the player but also that it varies strongly. There is no obvious reason for that behavior. 

In contrast to the Katwalk Mini, the latency in Virtualizer is very low and therefore not consciously noticeable. In the first test, I couldn’t find a frame difference, so the latency was less than 40ms. In the second test, I was able to determine a latency of one frame.

One frame corresponds to approximately 40 ms. In the third attempt, the latency was again 0 frames. So again less than 40 ms. The latency in the Virtualizer is not only very low but is also stable below any noticeable value. 

If we have a look at the Omni the latency is higher again. In the first test, it was 6 frames which correspond to approx. 240 ms. In the second one, it was again 6 frames, so again about a quarter of a second. A third test showed about the same result.

The values show that the sensor system is much more stable than in the Kat Walk Mini, but the latency of around a quarter of a second is noticeable. 

Stability

The next point is measuring the walking stability of the individual devices. The reason for this is that the movement in some devices is very jerky and not smooth and therefore uncomfortable for the user. In this scene, I try to move forward continuously. 

With the Kat Walk Mini, you will notice that the movement of the virtual avatar is jerky and does not move forward continuously. 

With the Omni VR running platform, walking or moving slowly is also rather jerky. The movement is stable while running, though. 

With the Virtualizer, the movement is much more stable, and I didn’t notice any stuttering. 

Speed Transmission

In the following chapter, I’ll have a look at the speed transmission. Unfortunately, the accuracy of the speed is hard to show in the post, but I’ll try to explain how it works and feels. 

When I walk slowly in the Kat Walk, the avatar walks slowly, when I walk faster my avatar also moves faster. Although this works fine by concept, it doesn’t feel right because of the unreliable tracking, the significant latency, and most importantly because of the intuitive way of moving in the Kat Walk. 

The Omni also supports analog movement speed input, so if you walk faster physically, your avatar will do so too. Especially when walking faster, the speed transmission feels right, although the virtual movement speed is unrealistically high.

However, especially when walking more slowly, the speed transmission is not stable, as shown in the last point. This, in combination with the latency, can feel jerky and could lead to motion sickness

Movement speeds are represented correctly in the Virtualizer. If I walk slowly or if I get faster, my avatar will always move at the same speed. Due to the intuitive physical movement and the very low latency of the Virtualizer, the movement and speed in Virtual Reality feel particularly right here. 

Rotation Stability

Now, I want to test the rotation stability of the sensor systems. When I rotate on the spot in the device, I should remain on spot in VR as well. Any drift represents a failure of the sensor system. 

If I turn around in the Kat Walk, I slowly drift away from the original point. 

I do the same with Omni. With the Omni, the unwanted drift movement is the strongest. I’m moving back and forth a lot. 

On the Virtualizer, unlike the others, I can barely notice any drift that drags me away from my original starting point. 

Decoupling

Another important topic is decoupling, which means that the viewing direction and the direction of the movement work independently of each other. I always try to move along a line in the virtual world. 

With the Kat Walk Mini, the decoupling works fine, I can look around in any direction and continue moving along the line without any distractions. 

That also applies to the Virtualizer. My direction of movement is controlled by my body, not by my sight. 

With Omni on the other hand, decoupling doesn’t work very well. My avatar moves to the left or the right when I look left or right. It does not directly follow the viewing direction either, but my moving direction is significantly off.

Backward 

Physically, moving backward in the Kat Walk Mini, unfortunately, lets the virtual character move slowly ahead instead of back. Instead, to move backward in the Katwalk Mini, you have to put one foot behind the other. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t recognize this gesture reliably. 

The Omni also supports moving backward. It’s not truly intuitive, but since walking backward is not nearly as important as walking forwards, it might work well enough for many applications. 

In the Virtualizer you can move backward physically, this works well. When the platform notices your backward movement, it moves the platform accordingly. While starting to walk backward requires one strong push to the back, it gets easier as soon as the platform moves. Due to this, you can move back for long distances. 

At this point, I think it’s important to mention that the Kat Walk Mini sometimes lets you move back unintentionally. That’s a major sensor failure. 

Strafing

Moving sideways doesn’t work on my Kat walk Mini. According to the manual, you should put a foot out at one side. I never managed to have it work. 

The Omni supports strafing by scratching your foot. With every scratch, you move a step sideways. 

The Virtualizer doesn’t support moving sideways, there’s no such functionality. 

Conclusion

The sensor systems of the three devices differ in their functionality. While the sensor system of the Virtualizer reacts quickly, reliably, and precisely, the sensor system of the Omni is slower, less precise, but still reliable. I give the Virtualizer four and a half stars and the Omni gets two and a half stars.

The Kat Walk mini’s sensor system is the worst of the three. It is quite unreliable and has the highest latency and inaccuracy. It is very annoying when you are in VR. Thus, I can only give it one star. 

Kat Walk Mini

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Virtuix Omni

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

8. Useability, Safety & Noise

Useability

In this chapter, I will cover the topics of usability, safety, and noise. First, let me talk about the limitations for users The Kat Walk mini is suitable for users from 140 to 195 cm. 

The Omni is suitable for users from 140 cm to 195 cm just like the Katwalk mini. For smaller children, an Omni kids kit is available as an additional accessory, which includes different posts and an insert for the belt. With this kit, children from 127 cm to 152 cm can play in the Omni. 

For the Virtualizer VR standing platform, the recommended height is between 120 cm to 205 cm. In my opinion, there is no limit to the bottom because you can move the ring down. 

Safety

At the Kat Walk mini, I am being held on from behind from the belt. I have nothing to hold onto and I feel a bit unsafe on this device. The maximum recommended weight is 110 kg, although I am below that, I didn’t trust the belt enough to hang into it. 

The Virtualizer is very solid and when it is locked I can lean my entire weight on the ring and it holds it. The maximum recommended weight of the Virtualizer is 120 kg. I feel very safe because the belt system is made of metal and I am supported from the front.

In addition, a new user can grab the ring, for extra security. When using the Virtualizer there is only a risk of falling if the device is used in “unlocked” mode. If the device is locked, a fall is impossible. 

The Omni is also very solid. Unfortunately, it restricts freedom of movement but it can support the user’s weight. In the Omni, I can lean all my weight against the ring, and it supports my weight without a problem.

The maximum recommended weight of an Omni user is 130 kg. You have to make sure the ring is properly locked. In case the ring is not locked properly, it could open while you’re pushing against it with the harness. In order not to fall out of the Omni, it’s really important to double-check the correct closure.

As we already mentioned you have limited freedom of movement forwards and backward, but there is also limited freedom of movement for sideways. You can easily get the feeling of bumping into something and get a somewhat unsettled impression in VR. 

Noise Test

I placed a microphone directly next to the devices to record the sound.

Kat Walk Mini and Omni produce a very loud noise. On the other hand, The Virtualizer Elite 2 omnidirectional VR treadmill is very quiet.

Conclusion

Although some components are slightly moving, the Virtualizer is very solid. When it is locked I can lean my entire weight on the ring and it holds it. The maximum recommended weight of the Virtualizer is 120 kg. 

I feel safe because the belt system is made of metal and I am supported from the front. As with the Virtualizer, some components are slightly moving here. You have to make sure the ring is properly locked. 

In case the ring is not locked properly, it could open while you’re pushing against it with the harness. In order not to fall out of the Omni, it’s really important to double-check the correct closure. In the previous recordings, you could hear that the Virtualizer is very silent. 

Aside from the “clicking” sounds induced by the zippers for the headset cable, the loudest sound of the Virtualizer was my trousers rubbing against each other. In this category, Usability, Safety & Noise, the Virtualizer deserves five full stars, because all the required points are met well. 

The Omni gets a two and a half out of five. It allows for safe operation, but the usability is limited for people of different heights, and walking in the device is very loud.

Kat Walk gets two out of five stars from me. It’s similar to the Omni, but for me, it feels a bit less safe – unfortunately mainly due to its perceived advantage of not having a ring. However, the rings of the other devices stabilize me and make me feel standing firmly. 

Kat Walk Mini

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Virtuix Omni

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2

Rating: 5 out of 5.

9. Summery and Total Points of the Best VR Treadmills Review: KAT Walk Mini vs Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2 vs Virtuix Omni

VR Treadmills Review Comparing KAT Walk Mini vs. Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2 vs. Virtuix Omni
VR Treadmills Review Comparing KAT Walk Mini vs. Cyberith Virtualizer Elite 2 vs. Virtuix Omni

This post has become rather extensive. I have summarized my findings in this table. As you may have noticed, I didn’t assign scores to the chapter’s design and accessories, as preferences on these topics are highly subjective. 

However, I summarized and added up the assigned scores of all other chapters here. All treadmills are mechanically solid devices. I like that I can use my regular shoes in both the Kat Walk Mini and the Cyberith Virtualizer – however, the hard plastic shoe sole of the KatWalk Mini overshoes hurt me badly very quickly, sorry, that’s a no-go.

All devices can be adapted to users of different sizes, however, the effort involved in the conversion between different users is particularly high with the Omni.

Let’s have a look at the physical movement Stopping/Standing and Rotating kind of works in the Omni. It’s not particularly intuitive or easy to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it works.

The unnatural way I’m forced to move in the Kat Walk Mini is something I can not get used to – the movement doesn’t even come close to natural walking, it feels more like some sort of “jumping movement”. 

The Virtualizer is clearly a comfortable device to walk naturally. It also is the only device that supports walking backward almost naturally.

Running works well both in the Omni and the Virtualizer. Again, “running” works in the Katwalk Mini, but it feels awkward.

You can’t crouch or kneel in the Omni, you can do a little bit in the Kat walk Mini, and you can simply crouch and kneel in the Virtualizer. You also can’t jump in the Omni. 

You can make little hops in the Kat walk Mini. You can make sort-of jumps in the Virtualizer. Freedom of movement of the arms is best in the Kat walk Mini, good in the Virtualizer, and ok in the Virtuix Omni. The latency of the Virtualizer is almost non-existent, while the latency of both the Omni and the Kat Walk is clearly noticeable. 

As latency is a major issue for VR in general, that’s a very important point. Consciously noticeable latency can be very annoying and lead to motion sickness. While the Virtualizer is the best device for walking, the Omni does a good job in fast-paced action, too. 

The Kat Walk Mini constantly had hiccups during my tests, especially gaming. The same goes for the accuracy of speed transfer in VR: the Virtualizer is the most accurate device, the Omni comes second. 

Both decoupling and walking stability are again the most reliable and accurate on the Virtualizer, with the Omni having some deficits in these regards. However, both the Virtualizer and the Omni’s sensor system are very reliable. 

Unfortunately, the Kat Walk is generally unreliable and the movement is unpredictable in all these categories. My subjective impression of the safety of the devices is very in favor of both the Omni and the Virtualizer. 

I am not afraid of using the Kat Walk either, but for me, it’s not feeling as safe as the other two devices. None of these devices is perfect yet. You can have lots of fun blasting through virtual worlds in each one of these devices, despite some of their shortcomings. 

In summary, for me, the Virtualizer Elite 2 outperforms its competition when it comes down to the basics: walking in Virtual Reality. Do you have any questions? Put them in the comments below.

Source and Credit: This post is from the perspective of my friend Ben, owner of the Virtual Reality studio Cykyria.

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