Virtual Reality is the next possible innovation that’ll soon replace most entertainment platforms in the coming years. The technology and headsets have already started maturing, as one can easily see with the introduction of standalone headsets. But, the controller required to control actions within the virtual world also need to evolve alongside the headset to provide a seamless experience.
Valve seems to have taken the first step towards that innovation and is showing off prototypes of its new handy, light-weight VR controllers at the ongoing Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle. These new controllers seem to be less bulky as compared to previous gen Vive controllers that were like a giant glowstick(or Wii paddles) with buttons.
The new Valve prototype controllers seem to follow the basic ergonomics of Facebook’s Oculus controllers, but add a completely different touch to the design and functionality of the controllers. Instead of attaching a sling to the controller that goes round your wrist, these controllers are wrist-mounted and are gripped by a band that hooks it to the user’s plam, reports RoadtoVR.
These core hand-held game pads are latched on to this band that grips the user’s palm, and these seem to keep the controllers from falling even when the users lets go of them. The prototype controllers were a bit fragile and covered with an array of tracking sensors. Each controller, as reported by a source, is said to host a total of 21 such tracking sensors. It also hosts a trigger, a trackpad, and a set of three buttons surrounding the same.
— Daniel Blair ✭ (@CMDannCA) October 13, 2016
In addition, the important feature that most likely sets it apart from any other VR controller currently available on the market is the ability to grab and throw virtual objects with the natural muscle-memory of opening of your palm. And since the controllers are attached to the wrist mounts, you no longer need to remember to wear straps. The controllers will no longer go flying off when you swing your sword or throw objects.
The hand-on experience for the new VR controllers is currently only open to developers who’re attending the conference. The VR controllers are still in early stages of testing and optimization, so there’s no point talking availability or pricing at this point of time. It is, however, a fairly interesting pair of VR controllers. That’s for sure!