ST Engineering Antycip has provided and installed the first Infinadeck treadmill in the United Kingdom at Liverpool University in its Daresbury facility, according to the company.

VEC (Virtual Engineering Centre), from the University of Liverpool, has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to establish the UK’s first National Centre for Digital Heritage (CDH). The project seeks to develop a solution that enables users to move freely and naturally within expansive virtual spaces, without being confined by the boundaries of their real-world environment. This approach aims to offer a new level of immersion and accessibility, allowing for the exploration of digital heritage sites in a manner that was previously unimaginable, according to the company.

ST Engineering Antycip recommended an omnidirectional XR treadmill, Infinadeck, as the system. Inspired by the blockbuster movie Ready Player One, the Infinadeck treadmill has evolved from its Hollywood origins to become a real-life product that now integrates into commercial spaces. This technology aligned with the VEC’s needs, offering a dynamic and unconstrained platform, enabling users to explore virtual environments. 

“By enabling users to walk naturally in any direction, Infinadeck creates a genuine sense of being inside the digital world. This ‘Dynamic Presence’, as we call it, elevates the engagement, evocativeness and emotional connection experienced by users within the immersive environment. Compatible with VR headsets, projection domes, immersive LED displays, or standalone use, Infinadeck provides the optimum solution for incorporating physical movement into training simulations or gamified environments,” says Phil Martin, chief revenue officer at Infinadeck.

 VEC uses the Infinadeck as a doorway to research and virtual adventures, currently focusing on uncovering how buildings and architectural styles have changed over time. Another way VEC uses Infinadeck is by creating virtual museum experiences that allow participants to virtually explore paintings and “touch” statues.

“We’ve been experimenting with the treadmill speed, prioritising the health and safety of users who are unfamiliar with this kind of equipment. By reducing speed, we’ve ensured that even those new to the technology can feel comfortable and safe enough to walk on it,” said Konstantin Vikhorev, chief technology officer at VEC.

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