New footage of Valve’s new ‘Knuckles’ controllers has emerged over the past few days, as developers begin to test out the new device. The ‘next-gen’ SteamVR controller prototypes represent a major advancement over the current Vive motion controllers, with five finger tracking and an ‘open hand’ grip.
The new controllers have been shipping to select developers, with prominent VR studio Cloudhead Games being one of the first the receive packages, which they’ve been keen to share on social media. A short video (heading this article) was released to their YouTube channel, presented by Cloudhead’s CEO and Creative Director Denny Unger, showing the simple package and intuitive hardware design.
Unger points out that you can grab and use them just like the Vive controllers, but the “magic happens” when you pull the cord to tighten the cinch that allows the user to fully release their grip. This short clip from Cloudhead shows the sort of advantages that can bring:
— Cloudhead Games (@CloudheadGames) June 28, 2017
Playing around within the default SteamVR Home environment using a ‘five finger’ hand model option for the avatar, Unger highlights the capacitive sensors on the grip that allow for individual finger detection, and the trackpad that offers a more granular control of the virtual thumb position. The studio has been closely associated with Valve’s new design from an early stage, having been asked to create a demo for the first prototype hardware at its announcement at Steam Dev Days last year.
— Cloudhead Games (@CloudheadGames) June 29, 2017
Other short clips of the controllers in action show developers rolling their fingers across the grip and ‘flipping the bird’, along with reactions and ‘unboxings’ from other notable VR studios such as Owlchemy Labs, Radial Games and Vertigo Games; see a collection of these Twitter ‘Moments’ here. Valve have not revealed their plans for a consumer version of the Knuckles controllers at this time.