These robotic virtual reality boots feel like you are walking in place

Virtual reality is gradually improving, but there are all sorts of improvements that can make it more realistic. More detailed graphics and higher screen resolutions can make the visual aspect (which is of course most important) more engaging, while tactile gloves or full tactile suits can add a sense of touch.

Now there is a solution to movement problems: a pair of virtual reality boots allows users to move around in the game without leaving the confined space in which they are located.

The boots, dubbed the Ekto One, are the first product of a Pittsburgh startup called Ekto VR. They are made of lightweight carbon fiber and look like a pair of self-braking skates.

They are a little clunky because they have to accommodate rotating discs built into the bottom that pivot in the direction the user is traveling. They are essentially small, boot-shaped treadmills: your foot touches the floor and a set of wheels pulls your foot backward as you walk forward.

In order for the boots to make VR more realistic, users will have to forget about the fact that roller skates are tied to their feet.

But this is only the first such technology and, as is usually the case with most innovative technologies, boots (and other virtual reality accessories) will become smaller, sleeker and cheaper over time.

Pretty soon we will be able to walk from Moscow to Kamchatka without even leaving our room.

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