Student's Choice: Cybershoes

11 November, 2019


Applications, especially games using Virtual Reality have been around and popular for a while now. A big consideration with a virtual reality system is the space required to use it. You certainly do not want to walk into walls, furniture, harm yourself or destroy your property. A virtual world can have endless space but to navigate through we need to use limited physical space and that's where products like Cybershoes comes into the picture.

Cybershoes is a VR accessory that is strapped over your shoes letting you control your movement and navigate through the virtual world. These shoes come along with a swivel chair and a rug. The user straps these shoes on and sits on the swivel chair, while the rollers under the shoes detect the movement and seamlessly sync with your VR application/game letting you walk/run/jump in the virtual world. This makes the VR experiece more immersive. It also enables users to walk in one direction (the direction of the shoes) but look side-to-side and give a better view of the surroundings.


Cybershoes GmbH started off in 2015 with the intention to make users walk around in VR rather than using buttons or teleporting. Their first idea involved a standing solution. By the end of 2015, their concept included a VR Treadmill that they named 3D walker. The cybershoes were to be used over the 3D Walker and a bungee strap was used to connect the person and the treadmill. This solution was successful in implementation and allowed them to walk in VR. However, they soon realized that this solution was not very practical. Treadmills were huge, occupied a lot of space and were costly: to produce, ship, and buy.

In the summer of 2016, Michael BieglMayer (Owner & Inventor) worked in a garage that was very hot and he was too tired of getting in and out of the harness to test the product. So he sat on his chair wearing the Cybershoes and tested it. That's where the idea to have a seated solution was born. He learnt the hack that our brains are conditioned to assume we're standing when we walk and so this solution made sense to his team and him. Post which they worked on this idea and started a Kickstarter campaign in October 2018. The campaign was fully funded within four hours and had a total of 1006 supporters. Since then Cybershoes have been tested by various people in the industry and the units started selling since January 2019.


The following are features and selling points:

Image from Cybershoes website showing the product


The basic setup for cybershoes includes: The upgraded versions includes a swivel chair and more modifications to the basic setup. The user is supposed to sit on a swivel chair while wearing cybershoes and make use of the ability to spin 360 degrees and glide your feet against the carpet. The cable retractor can be mounted on a wall, an Ikea Regolit lamp can be used, or a 5G router with the Oculus Quest can make it a wireless experience! It is great that the company provides the complete solution along with the rug, chair, stand etc. rather than letting the user figure it out.


The cybershoes are compatible with:


Cybershoes are available for sale on their website and come in four editions:
  1. Cybershoes + Cybercarpet
  2. Cybershoes Gaming Station
  3. Cybershoes Arcade Edition
  4. Cybershoes Business Edition

Images depicting the cybershoes setup and people testing it out


Cybershoes are a great way to navigate in the virtual world and are majorly intended for users in the following areas: Apart from the above, Cybershoes are compatible with and can be used for any application or game that allows users to walk,run, or jump around.

Why did Cybershoes catch my eye?

While using the HTC Vive headset in class, I often found myself walking into the walls or walking out of the designated area where the trackers work. This would ruin the experience for me and I'd keep wishing for a better way to do this. Sometimes I relied only on teleporting while physically standing in one place to avoid the walls. Teleporting can cause motion sickness and would sometimes make me a bit dizzy. I figured that since VR can essentially be an endless space, there must be an alternate solution to this.

I was very intrigued when I came across the product. At first glance it seemed strange to sit and walk so I sat in my chair and moved my feet around as if I were walking and it didn't feel unnatural. A lot of reviews I read also showed how this solution really does work and could help combat motion sickness from teleporting too quickly or at different places. This product will make a VR application/game that requires locomotion more immersive. I can't wait to try these!

Potential Issues:

While these shoes seem to solve the problem of running into wall, there are a few issues I forsee:
  1. Tiring & unnatural motion: The users may get tired or dizzy easily moving in the swivel chair and the movements might feel unnatural, at least at first.
  2. Difficulty or low possibility of crouching/crawling: Since the user is sitting on a chair, it will not be possible to crouch or crawl unless such a mode is activated by a button on the controller
  3. Additional items/space: This setup will require additional space and storage for the rug and swivel chair.
  4. Slippery shoes: There are healthy and safety warnings mentioned on the website that the user should not walk or stand up wearing these shoes since they are slipperly and the risk to slip or fall is very high. This means the users needs to keep in mind to remove the shoes before standing up or they might be prone to slip and fall.
  5. Limitation in continuous use: While any other person might find a battery life of 8-10 hours sufficient to play with, the serious gamers might scoff at you (people have used VR for even 50 hours at a stretch!). Moreover, the shoes will work just about for a full day of training before it needs to be charged.


Cybershoes are marketed as a high-end solution for VR locomotion and are a great and safe way to navigate through and explore the virtual world. To be able to walk, run, and jump in a VR game without worrying about running into the wall will make the experience more immersive and fun. The potential issues I forsee can be managed with a little care and yeah, we might look a little silly swivelling around in a chair but it will definitely be less embarassing and harmful than running into the wall.

Cybershoes are definitely worth a try and has recently won the CES 2020 Innovation Award for the Virtual and Augmented Reality category.

Further Readings and reviews:

Cybershoes have been tested by over 5000 individuals and there are several reviews available. Here are a few reviews you can watch:

Some textual reviews can be found here: More details can be found at their website and here.


You can view my presentation below on the website. Use this link to view it on Google Slides.