Massless is accepting applications for the first wave of its VR stylus which is aimed at making it easier and more precise for professionals to create and design in VR. The company expects to ship the Massless Pen starting in Q4.

We first got a look at a prototype of the Massless Pen VR stylus last year and found it promising as an input device that could bring greater and more natural precision to professionals using VR to create 3D artwork, models, and designs. Since then the company has refined the prototype and is readying an initial run for an ‘early access’ launch in Q4 2019.

Image courtesy Massless

Massless is accepting pre-order applications with a $50 deposit as part of a total $500 price which includes one year of the Massless Studio software. The box includes the stylus and a dedicated tracking camera with a stand.

Following the initial release, the company plans to charge $1,000 for the Massless Pen and $20 per month or $200 per year for Massless Studio.

Massless says that the stylus works Rift and Vive (presumably other SteamVR headsets too), and in addition to Massless Studio, the stylus supports Gravity Sketch, Medium, Quill, Tilt Brush, Maya & Blender (via plugin), and soon, Vector Suite. It isn’t entirely clear how Medium and Quill are supported considering Oculus doesn’t have a framework for using third-party controllers with its software; we’ve reached out to Massless for more information.

The company’s own VR software, Massless Studio, will likely offer the most seamless integration with the Massless Pen. It’s said to include real-time collaboration features so that multiple users can work together virtually.

Massless Studio is built for concept sketching, with editable 3D splines. Our simple mesh generation and intuitive 3D modelling tools are perfect for automotive concept design, virtual production and architectural pre-visualisation.

Generate fly through videos and images for presentation (MP4, PNG); mark up and annotate in our Design Review Mode. Export and import in industry standard file types. (FBX, OBJ, STL, STEP)

A ‘Massless Live’ feature also enables mixed reality views from within the software so that creatives can stream or share their work with a composited view that shows the user inside the software.

The pen also supports a non-VR ‘Tablet Mode’ which allows it to function like a graphics tablet and stylus for use with apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro, Solidworks, and Fusion 360. It isn’t clear how accurate it will be compared to typical non-VR tablets like those from Wacom, but it would surely make the stylus a greater value if it could double as both a VR input device and a traditional graphics tablet.

Image courtesy Massless

The Massless Pen now includes surface sensing so that the tip explicitly knows when it’s touching a surface. This can allow the stylus to be used against a desk or other hard surface as a physical drawing plane to work in 2D, but of course the stylus can be used in free-form in the air as well.

Hands-on: Logitech is Building the SteamVR Stylus That Needs to Exist

The company says the stylus also includes a whopping 12 hours of battery life, USB-C for charging, a capacitive sensor near the index finger for application control, and haptic feedback. The Massless Pen is tracked with its own dedicated camera which is separate from the headset’s tracking; the company says the sensor offers a 90° × 70° tracking volume.

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Massless isn’t the only company working on a VR stylus for professionals. Earlier this year Logitech introduced its own prototype, the ‘VR Ink’ stylus, which is based on SteamVR Tracking. While Logitech has been soliciting interest from partners on a case-by-case basis, the company hasn’t yet announced plans for public sale of its stylus.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • kuhpunkt

    Excuse me? $1000?

  • Jerald Doerr

    Yeah, I’ll just tape a parcel to my give control.

    • Ratm

      They sell the index controler with a tape and a parcel not the vive :p

      • Jerald Doerr

        Yea see… This is what happens when you mix dyslexia, alcohol and spell check..

        Thanks, Ratm… I’m not even going to re-edit it the mistakes!

  • Rosko

    Oh well 1k is well out of reach for me.

  • $1000 is really a lot. I get that this is for enterprise, but I hoped for a lower price

    • Jerald Doerr

      I know right… But enterprise or not that price is Riiiii dick U (them) lus….

  • Ratm

    Well they managed to freeze leapmotion and now they will sell lots of trash devices for lots of money.

    • Ratm

      And i dont think this one can be used for a dildo like the one logitech made.

  • Lucidfeuer

    1000$ for a prototype? No thank you, I’m not degenerate enough to give money to serve as a guinea pig.

  • For everyone bishing about the price.

    VR stylus which is aimed at making it easier and more precise for professionals to create and design in VR

    So you’re all designing precise things in VR for professional applications?

    • cirby

      “For professionals” quite often means “higher priced, but not better, and often worse.”

      Logitech is working their own stylus for VR, and it’ll be a fraction of the cost for an almost certainly better product.