Today at the company’s ‘Step into the Rift’ pre-E3 event in San Francisco, Oculus revealed what they’re calling ‘Oculus Touch’, the company’s VR-specific input controller.
The prototype revealed at the event was dubbed ‘Half Moon’ by Oculus and uses the same “constellation” IR LED tracking technology as used by the Rift headset. The unit also includes an inward facing “sensor matrix” which can detect common hand gestures like waving or giving the thumbs up.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey took to the stage at today’s event to reveal the prototype controllers which Oculus developers have been eagerly waiting for. Not relying on motion tracking or gesture input alone, the Oculus Touch Half Moon prototype controller has an analogue stick, two buttons, an index trigger finger, and what Luckey called a ‘hand trigger’ that rests near the middle finger.
Luckey suggested that this hand-trigger would become the common method for grabbing virtual items, leaving the trigger finger free for other actions like shooting or activating whatever was held.
The Oculus Touch controllers are mirrors of each other, Luckey said, as well as wireless. 6DOF motion tracking is achieved with both IR LED’s seen on the ‘crossguard’ style ring that envelops the user’s hand as well as an IMU. The Oculus Touch controllers will presumably be tracked using the same positional tracking camera that senses the headset.
The company didn’t demonstrate the new controller or show it in use. Neither price nor Oculus Touch release date has been confirmed, but Luckey said that the new controllers will be shown off at next week’s E3 conference.