I can’t wait to fumble things in VR…
Things are really moving in the world of VR. Considering that standalone headsets are just around the corner, more sophisticated and intuitive hand controls are inevitable. Valve is gaining momentum and is poised to set the standard in precision control with the development of the Knuckles Controllers. Only select developers have had a chance to get their hands on the Valve Knuckles so you’ll need to exercise patience. In the meantime, what can we look forward to?
Valve Knuckles Pack a Punch
Since human beings first learned to walk upright and “MacGyver up” crude tools, the importance of functioning digits was obvious. We depend on our hands and the world around us is built to accommodate this basic human design. Keyboards are used to communicate, doorknobs to open and hand gestures are used to share how you really feel. The Valve Knuckles Controllers are set to overtake the Oculus touch by providing a seamless and realistic feel with a few cool additions.
The Knuckles controllers feature a trigger and round trackpad for your thumb but unlike other controllers (Oculus Touch or VIVE) you can’t drop the Knuckles. They adjust to strap across your hands so you can enjoy unrestricted hand and finger movements. Sensors along the interior grip calibrate to your fingers and work in tandem with a traditional Lighthouse system. This gives you the opportunity to freely pick up virtual objects and interact with them naturally. Adding a wider range of hand and finger gestures could also pave the way for intuitive and quicker navigation, advanced communication and more.
Reaching Greater Heights
The Valve Knuckles allow you to focus on the VR experience instead of the controls. If your brain needs to pause for even a moment to adjust for unnatural controls, you immediately sense something is wrong. By forgetting you’re using controllers at all you can freely interact and enjoy yourself in virtual reality. Your virtual hands will behave as your real ones do opposed to strange man-claws that can only wide open or close tight.
You can see a range of fluid movements and gestures in this Demo from Zulubo Productions.
If you’re already enjoying games currently on SteamVR, the Knuckles can be set to work with these older titles so don’t sweat it. They’re said to have a three-hour battery life and are charged up via a USB Micro. I can’t wait to see where these Knuckles go (I know how dirty that sounds).
I can finally throw away my Power Glove!