It appears Google has made some serious headway on its low-cost, mobile inside out VR controller tracking standard first seen back in April. Today the company revealed they’ll be offering developer kits of a pair of new experimental Daydream with positional tracking (aka six degree of freedom, or 6DOF) controllers, which they say will allow devs to build such experiences for the Lenovo Mirage Solo.

The pair of controllers are optically tracked, and include a trigger, Daydream button, App button, grip buttons, and a touchpad with click ability.

Developers will require a Lenovo Mirage Solo, as the kit only includes two controllers and the purpose-built tracking faceplate that connects to the headset’s USB port.

Google is currently accepting applications for developer kits of the experimental Daydream 6DoF controllers, although only in the United States at this time.

Photo by Road to VR

Lenovo Mirage Solo, which launched back in May, already offers 6DOF optical tracking for its headset, while its native controller scheme is only a single 3DOF controller (rotation only)—presenting an unfortunate mismatch for users looking for greater VR immersion.

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Developers Now Receiving Google's Experimental 6DOF Controller Kits

While not entirely out of the realm of possibility, it’s doubtful the company will sell these aftermarket 6DOF kits to the public, as it’s more likely points to company’s next generation of VR hardware yet to come. Google’s VR/AR team lead Clay Bavor previously stated at this year’s I/O dev conference that Lenovo Mirage Solo users shouldn’t expect 6DOF controllers for the headset, although he maintained that “directionally, I think that’s where the technology, the industry is going.”

As Oculus gears up to talk more about their 6DOF headset/controller hardware Project Santa Cruz, it’s clear Google wants a seat at the 6DOF table for what could be a new bar in standalone VR.

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  • impurekind

    And we get closer to my [over]13 year old designs with every generation. . . .

    https://inceptionalnews.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/images-of-new-htc-vive-headset-and-controllers-leak/

    • Bryan Ischo

      Your design looked pretty close to what anyone would come up with given 10 minutes to think about what a wireless hand held wand type controller would look like so … don’t toot your horn too loudly.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Fortunately for us, mediocre people like you don’t work in place where “they would take 10 minutes to think about a wireless hand-held wand type controller”…

      • impurekind

        Yes, what they would come up with in ten minutes now–today. I did that before even the likes of the original Wiimote existed, before anyone had ever really seen that type of motion controller. So, go back in time and see how many people were designing controllers like that before anyone in the world had ever even thought of a Wiimote. . . .

        Exactly.

    • kontis

      Ideas are worthless. Controller designs are worthless. Execution is all the value. Also, the magic that Valve created was its precise tracking technology, not these simple wands.

      • Lucidfeuer

        True unfortunately. This is actually why lots if not most tech companies are stalling on the innovation, iteration, execution or cost-reductions fronts: they don’t have any strategical conception poles and nodes anymore.

        But they have the ressources and engineers, so they will, at the end of the day, release a concrete product as mediocre or uninnovative as it is, and that’s what primes in the ordeal of things today, but it’s still how things are conceived and planned upstream that dictates all the results (save for marketing).

        Companies, including Apple, which had a particular champion of conception at it’s head but no more, have forgotten about it, and while they’re hoarding the ressources for now, the more we progress in the future the more there’s a growing entropy of smaller companies that will be more and more likely to damage and sway major products or corporations, just because they will have develop or accumulate new conception paradigm that will be hard for bigger actor to reproduce.

      • R FC

        Yes, execution is everything – bringing products to market for mass consumption through retail channel is not easy. As an industrial designer, that is my end goal, design for retail consumption, an excitement in itself but also a grind of constant revision and compromise tempered by cost.

        Prototyping however, this is true passion. Building working prototypes, perhaps never for mass market consumption, but creating a road map for future product generations.

    • Lucidfeuer

      I don’t think your concept design need be compared to VR controller. What’s more surprising is that this design actually anticipated on the Wiimote (which is what all current VR controllers are based on) by 1 years and a half.

      • impurekind

        And I was actually coming up with that design well before the “Revolution” was ever even mentioned or shown in public too. :)

  • MosBen

    VR advances always seem just around the corner. It does seem, however, that we’re actually getting close to one of those corners. I guess we’ll see at Oculus Connect.

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      I’ve been waiting several months for that, glad it’s just 5 more days.
      I’ll likely buy Santa Cruz (or whatever real name they finally give it), and can play quality VR games, with no freaking cord! I’m really hoping they managed to put those 140° half dome lenses in it, and aren’t saving them for the 2020 Rift 2 release. *fingers crossed*

      • Xron

        o.O
        140fov means even bigger SDE… and I doubt new headset will have higher res than GO. Reason – not enough power juice..
        I would be happy if SC could run some Rift games/apps and we would be able to do some real Mobile and Pc Vr crossplatform.

      • 82%ValdeDetta

        Pimax 5k+ 170 FOV it here long before Rift2! Next mouth you will be able to preorder.

        • kontis

          Pimax, as cool as it is, is not relevant here. It’s a brute forced design for geeks that mainstream-oriented companies could do years ago if they wanted, but will never do for obvious reasons. Achieving wider FOV without increasing the size of the headset is 100x more impressive.

        • Xron

          They write 170, yet you need to use normal mode – fov 150 not to see blur on edges…

        • Smokey_the_Bear

          nah, I’ve had a Vive & Odyssey, I’m done being tethered.
          Mobile or nothing.

      • kontis

        There is no problem to put those lenses there, but they WON’T do that.

        Mobile is too performance starved for 140. Carmack wasn’t a fan of the resolution trade-off. Ha actually talked about Half Dome at last year’s Connect ;)

      • MosBen

        I’m also really excited for the Santa Cruz. So many people in these parts under appreciate how big of a drag it is for lots of people that the really compelling VR experiences require owning a gaming computer and being physically tethered to it.

  • Google needs to release a first-party headset. I am _not_ buying from Lenovo, or Asus, or anyone whose phones are _that_ bad.

    • R FC

      This latest news from Google is encouraging, in conjunction with the hiring spree they have embarked on for their VR team, after they dumped it hard a few seasons back…leaving Daydream somewhat orphaned with a skeleton crew doing maintenance.

      The Mirage Solo is an interesting device no doubt, but the ergonomics and build quality leave something to be desired. The face cushion is not even removable (for cleaning/replacement), which is a red flag for any VR headset.

      The build quality on the Daydream View headsets was exceptional, an impressive use of fabric and formed foam, perhaps we’ll see a first party Worldsense headset in 2019?

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cf8df4f2267bcc32f10631f58d91715b9e38e0cd2caafa4aaa8132c3d737954b.jpg

    • 82%ValdeDetta

      Mirage Solo is great but the foam is bad and the headphones that comes with it looks really silly!

  • 82%ValdeDetta

    Hope Google will release the 6DOF handcontroller soon otherwise people will buy the Oculus Santa Cruz it have better performance! You have to be fast this days otherwise it´s over.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    This is really good news.I thought no more development was going into daydream and the mirage solo.There is limited software for daydream but what they have is very smooth and polished.Praise Jesus !

  • I’m playing on my Focus with AR AND MR on the passthrough I can assure you that it is amazing. But that 6 DOF kit doesn’t seem that sexy to me…

  • care package

    I don’t get the fascination with track pads. I’m guessing it’s just a cheaper solution. Analog sticks are way better IMO.

  • Darshan

    Looks more like NOLO VR copy… its time to port RAW DATA to Daydream with scale down all eyecandy

    • Sponge Bob

      NOLO VR is not standalone VR

  • kat

    The controllers look like NOLO VR, en….

    • Sponge Bob

      NOLO VR is not standalone – it requires external basestation with rotating laser no less

  • Sponge Bob

    Can someone clarify the photo ?

    It looks like 2 hi-res cameras upfront plus a number of small emitters(detectors) (LEDs?0 scattered around the front surface of a headset
    What are those for ???? Useless for inside-out optical controller tracking – you need hi-res cameras for that
    Does anyone here have a clue ???