Earlier this year British startup Litho revealed its hardware idea for controlling and manipulating digital objects in the real world, an elegant device which sits between your index and middle fingers. Designed for the growing trend in augmented reality (AR) technology, Litho initially began with a carefully selected beta programme for interested developers. Now creatives at the forefront of AR can access the hardware for $199.99 USD.
Litho is the brainchild of two high-school friends Nat Martin (CEO) and Charlie Bruce (CTO), who wanted to advance spatial computing away from the flat screens of smartphones and into the 3D realm where the digital assets actually exist. So the device is Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) enabled, offering gesture controls to build and manipulate 3D objects, while the underside has a touchpad for your thumb to add further input.
Constantly on, Litho can be used for around 8 hours with a massive 2000 hours of standby. Also built into its diminutive frame is a Linear resonance actuator (LRA) for haptic feedback, all weighing in at 24 grams.
The current model is designed purely for developers at the moment, more accurately creators who use Unity. The software development kit (SDK) supports content creation in Unity for iOS and Android platforms, supplied with a framework of interactions for creation, positioning, scaling, precise rotation of objects, and context and UI menu presets for controlling objects or videogame settings.
“Litho is unique in that it’s cross-platform and output agnostic,” says Martin in a statement. “This means that developers creating Unity apps for niche AR headsets, like HoloLens, can build the app for iOS and Android too — with one click. This enables billions more people to try these complex AR experiences for $199, as opposed to thousands.”
It’s not just AR interactions Litho is limited to. The company also has a number of uses cases where the controller can be used as a mouse (in a future update) or even switch the light on and off in your home.