Logitech’s enterprise-focused VR stylus is now available for pre-order. The $750 ‘VR Ink Pilot Edition’ uses SteamVR Tracking and offers up a more natural and precise input modality for a handful of art & design focused VR tools.

Logitech revealed the VR Ink Pilot Edition back at the end of May. At the time the company was only working with select partners to gather feedback on the VR stylus; now Logitech has opened up pre-orders for the device for $750, though they’re still calling it a “beta product” (and ask those pre-ordering to explicitly confirm their understanding of its beta status). The stylus is expected to ship in February 2020 and supports SteamVR Tracking base stations 1.0 and 2.0 (though these are not included in the price).

Image courtesy Logitech

In addition to the stylus, Logitech is offering an optional ‘VR Ink Drawing Mat’ for $70. The company describes this as a “low friction surface texture designed for optimal tracking performance,” though it isn’t clear if the mat actively contributes to tracking or if it’s just the ideal friction to take advantage of the pressure-sensitive tip of the VR stylus. The drawing mat is A1 sized, which means 23.4″ × 33.1″ (594mm × 841mm).

The Logitech VR Ink Pilot Edition stylus weighs 68 grams and includes a pressure sensitive button, a clickable 2D touch-strip, menu & system buttons, side ‘grab’ buttons, and integrated haptics. Logitech is promising “2.5+ hours” of battery life.

While the stylus integrates with SteamVR and is recognized as a regular input device, its unique buttons and inputs mean it isn’t suitable for typical SteamVR games. Instead, the stylus has custom integrations with a handful of art and design focused VR tools. Logitech currently lists VR Ink Pilot Edition support for Flyingshapes, Vector Suite, VRED, Mindesk, Gravity Sketch, MARUI (Maya plugin), IrisVR, and Tilt Brush, with integrations for Unreal Engine and Unity so that developers can adapt more applications to the stylus.

Logitech says they’ve continued to improve their VR stylus since our prototype hands-on back in May:

To make a stylus really work for surface drawing in VR, you need a lot of precision, and so far the VR Ink has impressed on that front. Largely driven by SteamVR Tracking, but undoubtedly assisted by the stylus’ pressure-sensitive tip, drawing against a table feels really natural. I’m by no means a digital artist who spends every day with a Wacom tablet, but I’ve used my fair share of tablet PCs with active digitizers (including the Surface Book as my primary laptop), and VR Ink’s drawing and pressure sensitivity felt very comparable.

[…]

Granted, there was some occasional stuttering of the stylus, though for the most part it seemed occlusion related, which could be fixed with better base station placement. The demo room was using four 2.0 base stations mounted above head height (which is typically what you want), but mounting them just above table height might actually allow for better view of the stylus, especially when the user is leaning over the stylus as they draw or write.

Beyond Logitech, the VR Ink stylus is also a win for Valve, as it shows not only how versatile their SteamVR Tracking tech can be, but also how their commitment to an open VR platform is enabling for others. VR Ink couldn’t work with Oculus headsets (unless through SteamVR) because Oculus doesn’t allow third-parties to make use of its tracking systems.

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  • manhunt0r

    sheer insanity, or maybe a tax write off scam like stadia or juicero.
    on their own god damn sales page you can see the damn thing jittering in a video.
    and all for what, for the functionality you can achieve with couple hundred bucks worth of tablet and a basic ar app without investing into a vive and the pc hw?

    • Thera Alley

      So what you’re saying is you see a form of technology you don’t understand and therefore you immediately dislike it. Got it, you’re an idiot. Thanks for the heads up.

      • manhunt0r

        you are a moron if that looks like a functional niche filling product to you.

        • Thera Alley

          Except I work with this tech as a professional. And I already know several people within my own company who want them. So I think I’ll go with believing the fact that I am going to have to order like 20 of these rather than listen to some Idiot who can’t even spell “manhunter”.

          • Mike Porter

            you work in a university, lot of useless spendings go there,
            as for your supposed company, anecdotal evidence doesn’t prove anything

          • manhunt0r

            christ son, thats a lot of projecting you got going there. but hey,
            if your employer thinks this shit is going to make them money – go the
            fuck ahead, i will be here snickering at the retardation.

          • cirby

            I work with this tech – and more – as a professional, too. Part of my work is acting as a tech consultant for large corporations, and I get to deal with hardware pricing all of the time.

            $750 is just insane for this, even for hardware they’re planning on selling to corporations and government workers.

            If they actually do use this as a true retail price, it will just be a matter of time before multiple other companies undercut them by half or more.

    • Gerald Terveen

      this is aimed at enterprise customers that don’t mind the price tag. sure – I want it down to ~$200 before I consider getting one, but a company that really can improve the workflow will buy a dozen without too much consideration.

      comparing it to a scam is silly, this is Logitech after all!

      • manhunt0r

        and stadia is google, your point? just because enterprise budget is a different beast does not mean they buy every broken piece of tech, the ton of bankrupt enterprise-aimed vr startups are a good example.

        • Brad

          I’m curious as I’ve never heard of this contention before; In what way is Stadia a “tax write off scam”?

          • manhunt0r

            that seems to be the most likely option to me, i find it unbelievable that a company this big could seriously deploy a product this bad in Every single regard. i refuse to believe that all the departments involved in the hw and sw manufacturing never spoke up about it being completely unviable garbage.

  • Yen

    Or… you can turn the vive controller and you have a free VR stylus

    • Thera Alley

      except the end that does the writing is on the other side. Might want to know how the tech works before opening your mouth. Makes you look dumb.

      • G-man

        thats entirely down to software, and you could likely change that in advanced settings even right now and get it working well enough

  • Lark R

    You can get a Wacom Cintiq 16 for $200 cheaper. I don’t understand how tracking sensors are more expensive than a display. I get its for production purposes, I’m sure whatever next avengers movie will probably use a few of these but still I don’t get where the price is coming from.

    • Ad

      It may be overpriced but does that Wacom work with steamVR and work as a VR controller as well? This isn’t supposed to just draw on a flat surface. It does both.

    • Tomaz Diniz

      Totally agree. With less we can buy hyion,xp pen,gaomon and others screen stylus to do the same work.

      • kontis

        Your comparison is absurd as you are talking about completely different devices that cannot track in 6DOF.

        My old watch had battery lasting 10 years. My 90s cell phone had 3 weeks battery.
        Now compare them to smartphones and smartwatches and you will assume they must suck completely.

        • cirby

          Vive Trackers do the same basic job, and cost $99 each.

          Even assuming more than twice the complexity from having buttons and a thin form factor, and it’s just about impossible to justify more than about $300 for this gadget.

  • DanDei

    obscene and disqualifying pricing

  • JesuSaveSouls

    Cool but expensive.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    Now once it becomes more available and affordable it would be cool to see games be able to be like the matrix.Being able to write into the air the word plane and one appear.Or a place like nyc and be there in time square.

  • Keng Yuan Chang

    Hey, I noticed a typo, it should be $75 isn’t it.

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  • Linn

    Oof, that’s more expensive than my headset and PC combined. Just buy a normal drawing tablet.

  • mfx

    Hey I have a better idea : $7500 because why not.

    I hope you plan to sell only 100 of them..

  • Mike Porter

    I have a pretty good idea how much the IMUs and SteamVR sensors and ERM/LRA/piezo actuators and pressure-sensitive buttons cost. This could very well be priced ~200 USD and would be pretty profitable. Maybe one day they’ll decide to go that route.

    • alboradasa

      Sure, when they actually make it into a consumer product

    • Ad

      If that’s true then Valve should make it. It would encourage devs to make all game in VR which would translate to them being comfortable making VR games.

  • Dave Graham

    Oh hey, it’s for enterprise, lets add a 0 to the cost.

  • Icebeat

    For enterprise only right? fuck it

  • Ad

    Valve should be funding and promoting things like this, getting partners on board, etc, to show that SteamVR tracking really is the future and the best open platform.

  • Lots of people asked me when this would have come out. Cool to see that the project has not been abandoned. For sure I hoped for a price around $200, though

  • NooYawker

    I haven’t used them in awhile but can’t you make technical drawings in Tilt brush and/or Microsoft Maquette?

  • RockstarRepublic

    You could buy an actual cintiq for that price.

  • brubble

    Bahaha 750. (Doing my best “Don” face.)

  • Pablo C

    So cheap!!!

  • Mike Porter

    SteamVR tracking provides sub-mm accuracy, Wacom has accuracy and
    precision in the micron range, not to mention the resolution of HMDs is
    nowhere close to a 4K+ display used by professionals. This has its place
    but for non-3d work it doesn’t make much sense.

  • kontis

    I applaud Logitech for doing this, even at this price.

    This is a super niche of a niche so making it a mass consumer oriented product is not viable. The mere fact this exists from a high profile hardware company and not just some indie kickstarter is quite surprising on its own – in a positive way.

    • Mike Porter

      You don’t seem to have an idea how much SteamVR sensors cost and how inside out tracking works.
      Even with a bundled base station (which isn’t the case with this) you are only adding 65 USD to your production cost.
      And with an inside-out tracking headset you don’t put cameras on the stylus itself, just modulating LEDs.

  • I have to agree with @cirby:disqus below. I cannot see why this should cost more than $300, when you can buy a Vive Tracker for $199. Even proto kits from the sensor company are less than this. And frankly, I am very happy with Valve Index controller and nuanced capacitive sensors allowing for not only “finger painting” but even clay-like kneading if someone chose to program this kind of capability. In designing the Index controller features in “Excursion: 245 Minutes on the Moon” part of the “Apollo 11: ‘One Small Step For… VR experiences” I wanted the user be able to actually grab the moon rocks with their (virtually) gloved hands like mittens. The finger sensors are not perfect, but could be nuanced into providing some cool features and half the cost of this thing.

  • M

    Have used this pen and the developer version of it (Designer). The price tag is absolutally ridiculous, considering it feels like a very cheap piece of plastic – it’s

    literally just trackers taken apart and jammed into the case. More importantly though, a pen is deffinately not the best tool to create in VR, a paintbrush and pen are specificially designed for flat surfaces. We need a new tool, designed specifically for this medium. The current VR controllers are the closest to that, this pen is a step back.