By Oculus Rift hand tracking device I am talking about a controller, of course. Although, we do not know what kind of an input we will get in the near future for our VR devices, the fact that Oculus bought NimbleVR on December last year, means something. Plus, I always love to hear Nate Mitchell spill some juicy details about the VR future. And that is exactly what we got at CES 2015.
Controllers We Have
There are quite a lot possible controllers for an Oculus Rift. Most popular input solution last year was keyboard/ mouse for users, no doubt in that. But Sixense Stem, a successor to Razer Hydra, did not fall behind much in terms of popularity. When people were searching for a good controller, either Sixense, Leap Motion, PrioVR were on the market. And all of them were in no shape or form partnered with Oculus, the only available VR device maker at that time.
But as sad as it sounds, all the money that was invested in making a viable controller for virtual reality, might have been wasted. Yes, you can make profit from controllers when the competition is on the same level, but if Oculus decides to make their own input (which they have), there is a high possibility that their controller will be the only input that’s needed. That means that everything before that might be thrown into the trash.
How Do We Know That?
Here is an interview with Mitchell, co-founder of Oculus:
Summary of things he said about input:
At one point he mentioned that they have a lot of parallel paths in the input realm. According to him, they have been experimenting with different things even before the NimbleVR. Gamepad might be a good starting point for CV1, but full body tracking is not out of the question for the long run.
Then he answered a question regarding another devkit:
There probably wont be another devkit before for the headset, but with input we haven’t shown anything quite yet, so when it does come out
it may be that its more of a feature prototype that evolves into a devkit before it comes fully to market.
And what a better time to introduce your input than at E3. No, it’s not official. It might even be that they will not announce anything that is related to controllers. Another possibility is that some input details are going to be spilled at a special Rift event that takes place on June 11 in San Francisco. If neither of these events give us news we want, Oculus Connect 2 might be something to wait for. That event, however, is months away from now.
Whenever we get our controller, I do sincerely hope that it’s going to be good for the public usage. Mess it up, and VR experience might suffer to some degree.