Companies are experimenting with all sorts of different input methods for virtual reality (VR), whether its eye-tracking, data gloves, omni-directional treadmills, motion controllers and much more. One startup that’s developing several ideas is Finch, and the company recently revealed it’ll be showcasing its latest controllers – Finch Shift – at next months CES 2017 event in Las Vegas.
Designed as a no-camera motion controller for smartphone owners, Shift aims to provide similar functionality to that of the motion controllers for Oculus and HTC Vive, but for Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard headsets. The controller employs modified IMU sensors to determine real-time hands’ position with sub-centimeter accuracy and a 360-degree tracking range, but the system does lack room-scale tracking. Finch aims to add inside-out room scale tracking through a smartphones camera by the end of 2017.
Finch Shift will come with ‘PC-to-mobile’ streaming software, which allows existing Steam VR, Oсulus and HTC Vive apps and videogames to run on smartphones.
The developer’s kit, which includes controllers for both hands, SDK/API, accessories, three demo games and the streaming software pack can be pre-ordered through the company’s website for $179 USD. The DK1 will be shipped in February 2017, while the consumer version is scheduled to arrive in the second half of 2017 after Finch’s Kickstarter campaign this spring.
“We believe that Finch Shift VR Kit will accelerate consumers’ interest to virtual reality in the near future. The main reasons for slow market expansion have been limited functionality and low quality of content for mobile VR, and prohibitive costs of high-end hardware. With the Shift Kit, anyone who has a decent smartphone can play the best virtual reality games from SteamVR and mobile VR app stores. Plus, you can share the fun with your friends, just like you do it with console gaming,” said the company’s CEO Alexey Kartashov.
VRFocus first reported on Finch back in October when it released a new demonstration video for a different set of controllers. These offered finger tracking for mobile VR devices.
For any further updates on Finch, keep reading VRFocus.
Source: Finch to Showcase Shift Motion Controller at CES 2017