Nimble-VR-2Nimble Sense, the hand tracking controller designed to work with head mounted displays, has surpassed its first stretch goal of $120,000, nearly doubling its base funding goal of $62,500. With only a few days left until the crowdfunding campaign closes, the team behind the mountable sensor are undoubtedly rubbing their virtual hands together in anticipation of what comes next after such a successful Kickstarter — and for backers, that means getting a few more dials to play with that could substantially widen the device’s functionality.

See Also: Nimble Sense Kickstarter Aims to Bring Time-of-Flight Depth-sensing Tech to VR on the Cheap

Nimble Sense, a device not much larger than a pack of gum, houses an IR (infrared) laser and IR depth camera that was originally designed to sense object movement at the default range of 2.3 ft (70c m), or about the distance from the DK2’s onboard sensor array to the hand of a fully extended arm.

Now that the Kickstarter campaign has eked past its stretch goal, Nimble VR is expanding the device’s functionality (without overclocking it) and opening up the camera’s settings up to make it “a hacker/developer/computer vision-friendly camera.”

nimble sense virtual reality input

To keep within a nominal operating levels however (i.e. not lighting your head on fire) they’ve opted to keep the same power settings. To accommodate this limiting factor, they’re exchanging a lower frame-rate for a longer camera exposure time which will effectively give the device a longer viewing range. The team plans on supporting three specific ranges; 2.3ft/70cm, 3.25ft/100cm, and 4.92ft/150cm — most likely pushing the little USB device’s capability to the very edge of usability.

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Nimble Sense Stretch Goal

Nimble Sense Backer ChartAlong with increased range, they will be supporting low level camera controls with frame rates ranging from 1Hz to 45Hz, and shutter speed controls ranging from 0.1ms to 4ms exposures, potentially allowing developers to use the depth-sensing device for a wide variety of applications not limited to its main feature of VR-centric skeletal hand tracking. It’s an effort  by Nimble VR to coax potential developers into using Nimble Sense to do things like guide wheeled robots, track props, or even the user’s feet (because … feet… that’s why).

To send the Kickstarter even further into high gear, Nimble VR has added 250 more spots to their level 1 pledge tier which starts at $99 — getting you a Nimble Sense, 7ft USB cable, and A DK2 mount that cleverly utilizes the DK2’s native cable cover.

It does seem that, despite being a relative newcomer to the scene, Nimble Sense are all set to give Leap Motion a run for their money. All they need now is some sort of 3D Jam to find some killer content.

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  • Don Gateley

    Without a demonstrable prototype it is typical KickStarter dreamware. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole until it’s retail and been reviewed. KickStarter is not for the careful.

    • elecman

      Agree. This type of tracking has proven to be temperamental at best.

    • Ben Lang

      Unlike many Kickstarters they do actually have a prototype, but yes it isn’t final and we haven’t been able to give it a try. A couple others have though, you can find them with a quick search.

  • Curtrock

    I’m very pleased this campaign doubled their funding goal. It’s good for Leap Motion to have some competition. Having this type of hand/arm tracking built into HMD’s seems to be an answer to many situations where VR input doesn’t necessarily need a physical controller.

  • Albert Ho

    Structure Sensor seems to have a function like this for hackers and hobbyists as well, but you can also scan your entire room.

    What do you guys think of the below sensors in comparison in terms of price and functionality?

    Structure: $479
    Leap motion (Keyboard+VR Mount+developer bundle): $209.97
    Nimble: $99~299

  • Evostars

    I would love to play some percussion in VR, jamming over the Internet… I guess lag will kill that.
    But being able to drum in VR would be nice (my neighbors will like it a lot)

    • Ben Lang

      Might be interesting to combine it with some real (silent) pads so that you have feedback without the noise!

  • elecman

    Well, it appears I was wrong about this, as NimbleVR was just acquired by Oculus. That must mean it is actually a practical solution. I just hope the tracking is way more robust than Leap Motion.

    Either way, an integrated solution would be way better than an attachment.

  • Curtrock

    Couldn’t be happier about the Oculus + NimbleVR deal. I posted before that it was good that Leap had some competition. Well, I guess nothing more needs to said, about that….From the 1st time I saw the NimbleVR Kickstarter video, it seemed like a really great solution for integrated hand/arm tracking. Of course, some of their Kickstarter backers are upset. I don’t blame them for being a little disappointed, however this convergence of tech will benefit ALL in the VR community. I’m just pleased as hell about this :)

  • Don Gateley

    It joins the Oculus CV in the mythic pantheon. Too bad.

    KickStarter, as we see once again, is a bad deal for everyone but the creeps who use it for all possible nefarious purposes.

    • Scott Hayden

      Wait. How was it bad for Oculus?

  • Curtrock

    I read all the comments about how NimbleVR “sold out”, and how they “used” the KICKSTARTER backers for PR, and how they feel “ripped off” (even though they didn’t actually spend a dime) Reminds me of when Oculus cut the deal with Facebook. Of course, the VR movement will continue to move fwd, and I’m grateful that there are a lot of really smart people at Oculus & Nimble who are working towards making great VR, for everybody.