A short but exciting new video just released by Sixense demonstrates not only the much anticipated STEM wireless module system in action but also a glimpse at some new prototype hardware.
Sixense, the company behind the Razer Hydra positional tracking controllers, have demonstrated 3-Point tracking in a new video just released. The video features Scott Szyjewicz, Manager of Developer Support at Sixense with two wireless ‘wand’ controllers and a 3rd wireless STEM tracker attached to the to of the Oculus Rift HMD. Scott is shown using an enhanced version of the now famous Tuscany Hydra technical demo, but in addition to the usual positional tracking information from the handheld wands controlling the familiar virtual hands in virtual 3D space, when Scott moves his head, so does the game’s viewpoint.
On top of this, Scott looks to be using prototype
hardware not seen before similar to that shown at CES back in 2010 (thanks to eyeandeye for spotting this) and entirely removed in look from the more recent official shots of the system. Seen below, the image depicts a somewhat ‘chunkier’ looking design whereas the video shows a sleek new wand design, much more in keeping with what you’d expect from a finalised consumer design. I should be clear however, there is as yet no confirmation that this is anything other than another early prototype design which may change completely before release.
The new system demonstrates the departure from the old wired Hydra system, much more like Sixense’s original Hydra prototypes, which were also wireless. It does look however that the 3rd unit, providing the head tracking, is merely another wand controller rather than a finalised STEM unit — and is somewhat bulky as a result.
The STEM tracking system which promises a total of 5 tracking units (2 x wands, 3 x STEM units) looks to provide an excellent solution to the existing problem of the Oculus Rift’s lack of positional head tracking, cause of player disconnect and nausea with the existing Dev Kit. Until Oculus release a system of their own or until the consumer model appears, Sixense may well have the de-facto positional tracking solution for virtual reality.
No word on release date or pricing as yet, when we know more so will you.