As those working with virtual reality (VR) hardware and software keeping reminding us, input is a big problem for the technology. It’s not that setting up an Oculus Rift headset to work with a gamepad is unplayable, but it fails to follow through the headset’s stunning sense of presence. A range of companies are currently trying to tackle this issue, suggesting everything from motion controllers to omni-directional treadmills as the answer. Now Control VR is putting its own entry forward: gesture controlled gloves.
The new company has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for the peripheral, which is designed to work with VR videogames. The campaign hopes to raise $250,000 USD by 5th July 2014. The system uses DARPA-designed microsensors to track movements in fingers, hands and arms, with seven sensors in total. The campaign is offering a one-arm developer kit at an early price of $350, which will arrive with 20 free demos and support development on PC, Mac and Android. An open-source software development kit (SDK) lets developers creat content for the Oculus Rift as well as Google Glass and the Parrot AR drone.
A preview video for the kit can be seen below. It shows the user using his hands to fly around an open environment and attack enemies, taking inspiration from the Marvel superhero, Iron Man; a character that VRFocus tackled as part of its ‘Make it a (Virtual) Reality‘ series last month. That said, the tech isn’t being designed for just videogames; Control VR also pictures using it with music composition and controlling interfaces among other possibilities.
While the one-arm kit is first going for $350, backers can also secure a two-arm kit for $600. The first 1,000 backers should receive their kits in December 2014, with later orders arriving in January 2015. VRFocus will continue to follow Control VR’s progress going forward and report back with any more updates.