What is a ‘PROXimat™️‘ you ask? Basically it is a simple mat that lays on the floor and you stand on it. In this case it has little buttons that can be felt with your feet that allow you to know which direction is forward without having to use your eyes. This becomes specifically useful when you are playing VR games since you are not able to actually see your surroundings if you are properly strapped into the headset.
As silly as it might sound, I believe that this simple idea is brilliant and effective for several reasons! Not only does it solve a problem that VR users will have, it does so in an elegant way. The best part is you can easily roll it up and store it in the closet when you are not using it. Currently in prototype phases the mats have two sizes and are made
I’ve played hundreds of VR games for hundreds of hours and I get lost in my room all the time. The first thing I realized after using the mat was that it does not need to be the full size of my area to work efficiently. basically as long as it is within a step or two I can always find my place back. I first feel for the mat, then I feel for a button and instantly my brain can piece together where I am standing in my room without the need to half-take-off my headset and smudge my lenses.
I received two prototypes in the mail, one that is 24″ (black) and is said to be best suited for a play perimeter of 7-9 ft (2 to 2.7 meters), and one that is 36″ (gray) and is said to be best suited for a play perimeter of 9-11 ft (2.7 to 3.3 meters). And if that’s not big enough the developer did mention that “a larger size is planned for the future but is at least 6 months away and dependent on interest”.
Some of you might be thinking that the chaperone system does the same job of having physical cues in real space such as a PROXimat, but I disagree. With my experience of playing VR games and going for the leader-boards, spacial recognition, timing, and comfort are all key to having an enjoyable, competitive experiences in VR. When I am playing games that move me around the room, I don’t want to have meet the chaperone guard before falling back to the center. On top of that I get queasy pretty easy and vertigo feelings are common for me. Having a physcial center point in combination with digital points help me feel more comfortable for longer sessions.
By chance you drop your controller while you are playing you can be sure that it will be alright if it falls onto the PROXimat. Made with industrial strength materials the anti-fatigue mat will help you endure longer standing sessions and can be washed with water and soap if it gets dirty.
If you are interested in getting your hands onto a VR proximity mat known as the ‘PROXimat’ than you’ll be happy to know that a KICKSTARTER campaign will be rolling out before the end of August and will continue for 30 days!
- 24″ $29
- 36″ $49
For Kickstarter, early bird sponsors can get them for as little as $22 and $35, and if they miss the early bird, they will be $25 and $39 respectively. The developer also noted that they “will be available in Black/Red or Grey/Blue, we will have stretch goals of refined buttons, a kickstarter special edition with green buttons, and a completely molded version if we sell enough of these, but we’ll come to that hurdle when we get there.”
If you’d like to know more about the PROXimat team and how they got started CLICK HERE and go to the “About Us” section.
Questions about PROXimat™️? – Email: sales@VRMat.co
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