VRFocus took a first look at Matthew Carrell’s Stompz motion control a few weeks ago. It’s designed to be a cost-effective way to impliment motion tracking into virtual reality (VR) experiences by strapping a device around your foot and tracking steps. While the idea was solid, it was clear that plenty of work still needed to be done on the device. Now Carrell has provided details on Stompz’s next iteration, addressing some of the past issues.
Carrell introduced a sneak peek at the next version of Stompz during a presentation at this month’s Silcon Valley VR meetup. The new model straps around the middle of the user’s foot and comes equipped with hardware updates and new modes.
Precision Mode is one of the big new additions. This setting allows for precise inputs in which the use can simply lean forward on their foot to move forward or rest on their heel to move backward. As you might expect, tilting the foot left and right will move the player in the respective directions. Keeping your foot flat on the ground will cause the player to come to a halt. An accelerometer will also pick up a kicking motion and raising your foot off of the ground can be used to jump.
Adding a second Stompz controller to your other foot will increase the amount of options available to the player. You might move forward with your left foot while using the left to initiate a sprint, or start rotating to the right while strafing to the left. Each device connects as a separate controller to a USB port. The hope is to optimise the CPU for use with low power machines, add in joystick controllers and potentially connected to smartphones and tablets using Bluetooth low-energy.
This latest version of Stompz is still in development, with Carrell planning to launch a Kickstarter in May 2014. VRFocus will continue to follow the development of the controller and bring you the latest as it happens.