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An omnidirectional treadmill is a mechanical construction that allows for multidirectional movement in a three-dimensional space. Unlike a traditional treadmill that only works in one direction, the omnidirectional treadmill registers movement in all directions and responds to it with the equivalent treadmill motion.
The main use of omnidirectional treadmills in IT is for constructing immersive virtual environments or virtual-reality programs. With a set of walls featuring three-dimensional graphics, the engineers can tie the virtual-reality program into the user's movement to create a very powerful sense of virtual movement in the digital world. Some of the early efforts at video game battle rooms and other large-scale virtual-reality systems are examples of putting the omnidirectional treadmill to work. An omnidirectional treadmill can also be helpful in various kinds of analytics programs where systems are studying the physical real-time movements of people, animals or other moving things.