We’ve seen a number of hardware-based attempts to simulate movement through large virtual spaces, but none have really taken the world by storm. Omnidirectional treadmills, for example, are typically very large and extremely expensive.
A new effort backed by Mythbusters’ Jamie Hyneman is looking to raise $50,000 on Indiegogo to produce a more advanced prototype of “electric shoes” that essentially put the treadmill directly into footwear. Unlike many crowdfunding projects, however, this effort doesn’t promise to deliver the finished product to backers. Instead, they are offering a Hyneman-branded survival kit starting at the $75 backing tier. The fundraising is just to support the development of an improved prototype and the $50,000 goal is fixed, meaning they don’t get any money unless the goal is reached before the fundraising period ends in December.
As is the standard warning for crowdfunding projects — creating hardware is extremely difficult so give your money over with caution. The fixed goal implies they know a certain amount is needed to make progress with their idea and under the risks section of the project page it says “we don’t want anyone to be misled.”
“These shoes will be difficult,” the page reads. “There is a reason nothing like them exists.”