Striker VR is moving ahead with their haptic gun technology that we’ve been anticipating for some time now. The company today has revealed their latest prototype design of the ‘ARENA Infinity’ which is headed first to out-of-home VR arcade installations.

10 Seconds of Testing Striker VR’s Gun Recoil System and I’m Sold. That’s the headline of the article I wrote after I first tried Striker VR’s haptic gun tech back in 2014. The feedback given by the system was incredibly compelling:

I’ve shot a number of real-life weapons from shotguns to pistols to rifles, so I have a good gauge when it comes to what gun recoil should feel like. And while it’s likely that we’ll never be able to perfectly simulate the recoil of a small explosive going off inside of a gun—without… well… setting off a small explosive inside of a gun—Striker VR has the most powerful and responsive recoil system that I’ve ever experienced.

At the time the company was building their virtual reality haptic feedback system into off-the-shelf replica guns (like airsoft), but now the company is moving toward manufacturing and have given us an exclusive look at the prototype design of their first product, the Arena Infinity, for the out-of-home market.

Striker VR worked with concept designer Edon Guraziu (whose website is chock full of similarly awesome concept designs) to define the look and feel of the Arena Infinity. The company tells me the first functional prototype based on the design is being built now.

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striker-vr-halo-pistrol
See Also: Striker VR Pistol Prototype Borrows Design From Halo’s Famous M6 Magnum

The Arena Infinity is a wireless peripheral that’s designed for out-of-home VR attractions like The Void and Zero Latency. For now it’s a BYOT (bring your own tracking) affair, and Striker VR says that partner PhaseSpace will be among the first to get their hands on the haptic peripheral to show it working with their tracking system.

Striker VR co-founders Martin Holly and Kyle Monti tell me that they want their peripheral to be a haptic doorway into the virtual space that can do more than just simulate the feeling of a contemporary gun. They want to open their haptic module to arbitrary feedback from the environment, for instance, making it shake when there is a nearby explosion.

The video below shows the company experimenting with several different haptic effects that can be achieved with their tech; in order: single shot, out-of-ammo, three round burst, chain saw (yes please), pulse rifle (also yes). Note that while some of the sounds you’re hearing are from the haptic system, there’s also sound effects playing through speakers off-screen.

Striker VR say they plan to create a consumer facing version of their peripheral, but the major roadblock right now is finding a practical way to integrate tracking. They want to avoid the cost and complexity of a proprietary tracking system, and instead integrate into the same systems that are already tracking VR headsets and controllers, like Oculus’ ‘Constellation’ and Valve’s ‘Lighthouse’. However, neither company has officially opened their tracking systems for third-party use despite saying that they plan to. Previously the company showed their technology working with the Sixense STEM tracking system.

SEE ALSO
Hands-on: 4 Experimental Haptic Feedback Systems at SIGGRAPH 2016

Once the path becomes clear for integrating consumer tracking, the company says they may take the project to Kickstarter to get the consumer version off the ground.

  • Brad

    YES! I remember hearing about these guys a year ago, but they’ve been totally silent since then. I was starting to worry they went belly up x_x

  • Zobeid

    I haven’t seen this before. I do want! Even though I’m not fixated on first-person shooters. . . anymore. . . I could get back into them.

    • TaxPayer

      This looks cool, ill keep my eye on this.

  • Sam Illingworth

    Looks cool, but I think games where you’re limited to standing within a small area and shooting things will get old fast.

    Regarding the tracking, I suspect Lighthouse will be opening up first. Partly because it makes more sense, for SteamVR’s playstyle, but also because it seems like it would be easier to introduce new tracked devices in their system, as you don’t need to worry about identifying which device you’re seeing (you being the tracking station/s). Presumably adds more to the cost though, adding the lighthouse sensors and calculating systems, and I dunno about battery. Maybe they could make it connect to the port on the top of the Vive.

    • George Vieira IV

      I would think it would be cheaper to just add LEDs to an object like what Oculus’ tracking uses rather than how the Vive trackers work, but I suppose there would have to be software profiles for each device, and their LED layout.

      • Klasodeth

        The cost would end up being quite similar, as the controller would still require buttons and a wireless radio. The price difference between LEDs and IR sensors isn’t very large in the grand scheme of things.

        • Albert Walzer

          but having the sensors in the devices raises power consumption quite a bit. A LED just shines, but a sensor has to read signals, calculate some hashed results and transfer the data to the computer.
          Also, the Oculus systems allows for medium skilled people to assemble tracked devices at their home – just stick some LEDs on golfclub/armor piece/supersoaker, attach a battery, and the rest is software.
          The HTC system requires each device to have the complete sensor machinery built in.

          • cbrpnk rd

            Are you joking? Please read how the Constellation traking system works (at doc-ok.org). Just battery and IR LEDs will get you nowhere.

          • Albert Walzer

            then i was under a false assumption (because i had to do with early tracking systems at the university i was working at), i would like to read up on it, but the site you provided doesn’t give anything when i search for constellation. Do you have a direct link? Thanks in advance!

          • cbrpnk rd
          • Albert Walzer

            Thanks for the article. What you are referring to, (i guess?) is the fact that the HMD uses sensor fusion to achieve it’s high rate and precision. Objects other than the HMD wouldn’t need that (because the object doesn’t get motion sickness ;-) ) They could do with LED-tracking only (plus a bit driftcorrection and interpolation).
            So, given the right software toolkits and i still believe it’s way easier to add custom objects to the tracking vs. the Vive system.
            Or am i missing something crucial here?

          • cbrpnk rd

            No, I was referring to the fact that LEDs are blinking in unique patterns for identification and also are synced with IR tracking camera. Systems like Vicon which allows user-defined objects with reflective markers operate differently, and require more than one camera for tracking.

          • Janosch Obenauer

            Some good info here!

          • Janosch Obenauer

            Some good info here!

          • Janosch Obenauer

            Some good info here!

          • Klasodeth

            You still need high precision for any controller meant to act as a ranged weapon, otherwise you’ll have to deal with jitter or not being able to reliably point at small objects. Also, merely sticking LEDs and a battery on a prop doesn’t make things like triggers work. You still need to install physical buttons on the prop and connect them to a wireless controller, unless it’s something inert like your golf club example. At that point, you already have most of the hardware needed to implement IR sensors. There’s also the complication of determining which set of LEDs happens to be which tracked object, whereas with the system used by the Vive, tracking information will always be reported by the device being tracked.

            And in response to an earlier post, no, IR detectors do not use a lot of power. They don’t need to broadcast energy at a distance the way a light source like an LED would. Also, the IR detectors simply detect IR light. They don’t do any processing of their own. The simple data generated by the sensor (basically on/off signals) would be passed along to the main control circuit on the controller, and quite possibly transmitted to the computer for final processing to determine position.

            Constellation does indeed make it easier to track inert devices by adding LEDs to them, but for any sort of object intended to have working controls, the hardware complexity is pretty near identical to that of the Lighthouse-style controllers.

          • BlackMage

            Honestly I’m not even sure it is easier for inert objects. The LEDs are pulsing in a unique pattern synchronized to other tracked devices so that the camera can uniquely identify every object. You can’t reliably uniquely identify objects just from the shapes of the lights, and if you can you can’t do it at the speed of a camera frame. So regardless you need these things to chatter with everything else or at least with the camera. The camera and its unique object identification and tracking speed then becomes the bottleneck for all your tracked objects. I imagine there’s an upper limit to this too.

      • Bryan Ischo

        I am guessing that it’s not as easy as that. The tracking camera has to be able to distinguish between dots for different devices when they cross in front of each other from the camera’s point of view. Imagine holding the gun right in front of your face. All the camera is going to see is a blob of dots, some of which are from the gun, some from the headset. More tracked devices just mean more opportunities for this kind of occlusion to confuse the camera. Certainly, adding IR emitting dots to a device is easy and cheap; however, I wonder if there’s a limit to both the number of devices that can be tracked and to the fidelity that can be achieved as a result of these issues.

        The lighthouse system must be more expensive to implement because the device has to have detectors (which must be more expensive than LED emitters), and also must have a means for sending the data back to the computer, meaning some kind of wireless technology. However, it seems like it would support unlimited numbers of devices with much greater fidelity. I’d happily pay whatever additional cost comes along with this superior tracking solution.

        EDIT: more informed posts than mine follow below. I should have read all of the posts before posting :/

  • mark m

    Why dont they stick a leap motion sensor on it for tracking with a reconfigured tracker as a gun? But all in all sounds awesome

  • AugustaResident88

    Isn’t the cheapest and most obvious solution to the tracking issue to create a attachment point that an existing Vive controller(s) can fit into? Why bother worrying about tracking when you already have two devices that can provide the data you need to track a larger object?

    • RoJoyInc

      Fer sure just mount the motion controllers on top, How to remap the buttons/trigger?

      • buttons and triggers can communicat via bluetooth, wifi or wired to the game engine with no worries, its the tracking that they are concerned about. no need for the controller buttons on the vive.

    • Jollygood

      Sure, but would the frequent vibrations and impacts negatively affect the durability/lifespan of the Vive controllers?

    • Robert Jenkins

      it may also be difficult to do so without blocking sensors on the vive controller.

  • Sam Illingworth

    Ooh, they could make it so your gun can jam or break in some other way and you have to do something to the toy itself to fix it!

  • RoJoyInc

    I want for home VR

  • Mr. V

    let me guess, price point $400?

    • Gus Bisbal

      The linear motion motor they use is retailed at USD$1500. That is what it costs when you get it in the box. Then there is fabrication software tuning, the battery tech. This is a $5000 item on the cheap side.

  • brandon9271

    clearly Oculus and Valve need to come of with a tracking “puck” that can be attached to things and integrated with various 3rd party devices. Something like the STEM system from Sixense. Oculus and Valve may not want to do they because they may want to sell all the peripherals first party or license the tech for a fee. IMO, it would be easier and better for everyone to just make it open like S.T.E.M

    • Liam2349

      Valve is licensing the Lighthouse tracking tech for free to anyone that wants it.
      They would also require different “pucks” since Lighthouse (Vive) is fundamentally different to Constellation (Rift)

      • brandon9271

        True.. But they could physically be the same size so they could interface with the same peripherals. It would take cooperation from all sides though.. So not likely to happen.

  • Oscar
  • Contra-rian

    There was an arcade shooter way back around 16 years ago that had large machine guns that did the same thing. It was the only thing the game had going for it. The game itself had a jungle warfare theme with you are another playing being flown around in a helicopter. Completely forgettable. But the gun was cool.