Chinese virtual reality startup KAT received $1M USD in a round of angel investment led by Unity Ventures, they announced on Monday. The startup’s flagship product, KAT WALK, is an omni-directional ‘treadmill’ that lets users physically explore worlds in virtual reality.

After strapping into a hanging harness, KAT WALK users can walk, run, wave their arms, and swivel around in place. Special shoe covers interact with KAT WALK’s concave base, mapping the user’s movement in virtual reality. The product can sense up to 35 centimeters of vertical movement, including jumping, through KAT WALK’s sensors and harness.

“Frictionless walking is awkward, like walking on ice. To make walking in VR feel more natural, KAT WALK uses special high-friction material and the constant force of rolling friction,” explains the company on their Kickstarter campaign page. “This makes you feel like you are walking on real ground instead of sliding walk.”

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Eva Xiao

Eva Xiao is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. Contact her at eva.xiao@technode.com or evawxiao (wechat & twitter).