Unsatisfied with the requirement that HoVRmotion needed an obscure piece of outdated hardware and only fit in a few select game scenarios I spent some time thinking about how there could be a better way.
I had read on occasion the suggestion to use running in place, but it was generally dismissed as either being too tiring, not immersive or just not possible to do well.
Yes, it would be tiring, but so would actually running and that's what people want, isn't it? This same critique would apply to any of the omnidirectional treadmills or foot trackers or any other locomotion technique where you are actually moving so didn't seem like reason alone to dismiss it.
Next was the argument that it wouldn't be immersive because you are not actually moving forward. I thought this might have some credibility, but until I actually tried it I wasn't convinced. Surely it had to be more immersive than suddenly teleporting to another place or being pushed around by a joystick.
Lastly, being told it's just not really possible to do well was seen as a direct challenge. Who doesn't want to be the first to make something work?
There's no point in trying to solve a solved problem, so before getting started I did some research (which is just code for searching reddit).
One of the first threads I came across was Proposed DK2 Walking Solution. No hardware required.
Turns out that the whole "Proposed" part of the title was pretty literal and there was no solution there, just some interesting discussion about how it had been attempted in the past.
The quote "When this was demoed to the public it was picked up easily by each person and I never heard any complaints which, to me, might indicate that it's a pretty good solution." indicated to me I was on the right track...
I just wanted a quick and dirty approach to tell me if this would be any good, so I settled on the simplest thing I could think of, which was using how much the head moved from it's origin to determine how far to move forward. This magnitude is only tracked while a button was being pressed. It definitely had it's flaws, but it was enough to motivate me to keep digging.