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May 15, 2006

Powered Shoes

The project Powered Shoes, developed by Hiroo Iwata, is a locomotion interface that allow users to walk in arbitrary directions in virtual environments while maintaining their positions:
It has often been suggested that the best locomotion mechanism for virtual worlds would be walking, and it is well known that the sense of distance or orientation while walking is much better than while riding in a vehicle. However, the proprioceptive feedback of walking is not provided in most virtual environments. Powered Shoes is a revolutionary advance for entertainment and simulation applications, because it provides this proprioceptive feedback. 


The system follows another fashinating walking-based interface that Iwata presented at Siggraph 2004 called "CirculaFloor":
CirculaFloor is a locomotion interface using a group of movable floors. The movable floors employ a holonomic mechanism that achieves omni-directional motion. Circulation of the floors enables users to walk in arbitrary directions in a virtual environment while their positions are maintained






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