Omni-directional treadmill to make men out of gamers?

Unbeknownst to the rest of the free world, a few ingenious people over at Virtual Space Devices have been hard at work since 1996 on what they call an Omni-directional treadmill. So why should anyone other than Jamiroquai care? Well it appears that while this seems to scream “personal workout device” to the majority of you out there, the idea behind the madness has more to do with making your immersion into virtual reality one step closer to feeling like actuality.

Throw caution to the wind, and hit the jump for more on this. 

If this isn’t enough for you, their next device called iPlane, promises to let you experience the thrills of virtual flying. At first glance it seems a little crazy that anyone would want their videogames to involve this much physical activity, but Nintendo has shown us that casual gamers enjoy getting off the couch in droves — all in the name of a good time. Who knows? With the right price point, a more compact design and a few quality games to back it up, this could be worth your while.

If nothing else, these two devices might actually lead to a killer personal flight sim game, or make those multiplayer matches a bit more interesting as out of shape players huff and puff across the maps in search of their prey. Watch in amusement as the marathon runners and sprinters punish all those would dare to oppose them.  As for me, give me a call when they have a great superhero game built around this thing. Until then, I’ll just stand back and watch. You might want to consider renewing that gym membership.

[Via Endgadget]