Sixense Releases 5 STEM Demos and SDK Compatible with Razer Hydra


On the path to eventually releasing the STEM VR motion controller, Sixense has released the Sixense Core API and SixenseVR SDK with support for the still-kicking Razer Hydra. Included in the release is 5 STEM demos which are playable with the Hydra.

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Eager for some motion input action in your VR ahead of the release of the release of next-gen motion controllers? Sixense has included Razer Hydra support in the release of their Sixense Core API and SixenseVR SDK, meaning you can fire up your Rift and Hydra to try out the five included demos:

SixenseVR Archery
There is a bow floating to your left and you can grab it by reaching to it with either hand and pulling the trigger. After you have the bow, you can grab an arrow by reaching your free hand over your shoulder, and then squeeze and hold the trigger. With the arrow in your hand, bring it to your bow, pull your arrow hand back, then release the trigger to shoot.

SixenseVR Home Run Derby
In Home Run Derby the player is allowed 10 practice hits before the derby begins. Once the derby begins, the player tries to hit as many home runs as possible. Each hit that is not a home run counts as an out. The game is over when the player has 10 outs. Tap home plate with the bat to start the game again. Difficulty levels include Arcade, Normal and Simulation. When the difficulty is set in Simulation mode keys 0-9 adjust pitching speed from 70 to 90 mph.

SixenseVR Shooting Range
The user has a holstered gun on their hip and magazines on the opposite hip. To grab the gun, place the hand near it and pull the trigger. The gun can be fired by pulling the trigger again. Eject the magazine by pressing any face button on the controller holding the gun, then grab and place a new magazine near the bottom of the gun to load the new magazine into the gun. Magazines are reloaded with bullets when they are placed on the hip or dropped to the floor.

SixenseVR Slash
There are several swords floating in front of the user. The user can reach out with each hand and grab a sword by pulling the trigger. The sword can then be activated by pressing any face button on the controller. Use the swords to deflect the laser blasts and strike the drone when it gets too close.

SixenseVR Golf – Putting Green
To change the height of the club, press any face button to extend the putter head to the ground, or you can use the joystick up and down for fine adjustments. Pull the trigger to drop a ball. The user has 10 balls to get the highest score possible. Each hole is worth a unique amount of points; the farther the hole, the higher the points.

Although the demos are included, this SDK release is primarily aimed at developers, and Sixense is requesting that those interested email for access.

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The Razer Hydra and Oculus Rift DK1

Back in the early days of this new era of VR, people quickly realized that motion input was going to be a major boon to virtual reality interaction. The Razer Hydra became the defacto standard for early VR motion input development as one of the only commercially available 1:1 motion input controllers at the time, having launched a year before Oculus’ 2012 Kickstarter.

See Also: Sixense Shows off STEM Tracking With Impressive Ping Pong Demo

Though produced and sold by Razer, the Hydra was built with technology from Sixense, who went on to fund the creation of a next-generation VR motion input controller. STEM, which successfully raised over $600,000 on Kickstarter in 2013, promises more range and accuracy than the Hydra in a wireless package, as well as support for additional trackers.

STEM has hit a number of unfortunate snags along the road to release, with the latest estimates from Sixense putting the launch in April, 2016.

The release of the Sixense Core API and SixenseVR SDK with Hydra support offers a platform for those with the controllers can begin experimentation and development for STEM and other next-gen VR motion input controllers before any of them become commercially available.

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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."
  • MasterElwood

    DOA. Rift and Vive have their own controllers now. Much better – with much better software integration. STEM is 2 years to late – nobody needs it anymore. R.I.P.

    • CazCore

      are you sure STEM has no advantages over Touch/Vive?

    • Henrik Eriksson

      No, not better. The Stem is not dependent on being visible. This means that I *can* strap the oculus onto a laptop that I carry in a backpack that I wear, and use the Stem controllers instead of the cameras. This gives me free roaming while in VR (with the only caveat being the physical room that I’m in).
      With the oculus controllers I would need cameras attached to the laptop as well, and they need to be corded.

    • Sr_Chalice

      Stem was to be great product and even if it ends up being great product no one will know or care about it… All because that crap got delayed basically 2 years now. Glad I never pre-ordered it because it shows a great deal of weakness (as if they don’t know what they are doing) because it’s been delayed to launch, so many damn times. I think Stem were planning on Piggy backing on occulus, to generate steam for itself. Because all of a sudden when VR was introduced Stem was on that wagon. And if you saw a VR Demo, stem was always there someway.

      So I think they delayed the product in order to have it debut with occulus, but it’s a risk that backfired. Because now occulus’ price is as ridiculous as the product itself; so now what is stem to do? I don’t why they waited, but they should’ve just released Stem on its own merits long ago and really push the product. This is where proper marketing and technical sales comes into play. And they should’ve went that route instead of piggy backing off of another product. This whole “if you like VR, THEN you JUST have to have stem” was a bad gamble because now that the rift will fail, where does that leave stem?

      The keyboard is a 80 year old concept that could’ve been replaced by stem or more realistically be a viable option, where gaming is concerned. That’s providing they knew what they were doing. Gamepads could’ve been replaced. Because gamepads are terrible when it comes to tracking and fast “look movements” i.e “mouse look”. The stem offers the same precision. If not even better. They could’ve had a product, that would’ve unified the gaming world. Basically with Stem on every platform, games would have one PROGRAM for interfacing across ALL PLATFORMS. I’m talk keyboard and mouse string across all platform, because it’s being controlled by stem. But sixense never thought about the OVERALL.

      The overall means, it becomes an industry standard. And this would’ve brought down pricing to what gamepads are. Because there would be market wide demand for the product. Sure it’s a hurdle at first, but that’s how they should’ve been thinking and I know it’s not easy, but it’s the price you pay for trying to make a difference. But that’s just my pipe dream; as a marketer myself, I have an idea of what they should’ve focused on. Instead of banking on this ridiculous excuse for Virtual Reality (Occulus). BECAUSE THAT Crap is just 2 T.V screens on your eyes. Don’t find anything virtual or realistic about that. But that’s just my opinion…

  • yag

    The lightsaber demo is OK for 5 mn… The Shooting Range demo with time trial is well done (dev’s highscore with the STEM : 900; my highscore with my funky Hydra : 400 o_O)