The Sixense STEM Kickstarter had a very successful end this past weekend, reeling in over $600,000 in funding. In addition to teasing some collaboration with NASA and Project Holodeck, Sixense says that STEM pre-orders will be available through their official store in the near future.
STEM is the next evolutionary step of the popular Razer Hydra VR motion controller — Sixense has redesigned their magnetic motion tracking technology, improving performance while taking the system wireless, and added support for up to five tracking points, capable of convincing avatar embodiment.
The Sixense STEM Kickstarter, which was fully funded just a few hours after its launch on September 12th, raised a whopping $604,978 — 241% of the $250,000 goal. Along they way they also passed their first $550,000 stretch goal, which will add wireless capability to the base station, adding to the flexibility of the system.
2,383 people backed the system, four of which went for the $2,000 Developer Triple Bundle. Sixense says that they are “on schedule to ship to Kickstarter backers in July 2014.” The Sixense STEM Kicktraq page shows that funding picked slightly up toward the end of the 30 day campaign:
Sixense STEM, NASA, and Project Holodeck
While Sixense says that STEM will be backwards compatible with Razer Hydra supported games and programs, it’ll take some work from developers to move from the Hydra’s two-point trackers to full five-point tracking. Sixense is teasing both NASA and Project Holodeck as STEM compatible:
Previously we saw NASA’s JPL buddying up with the Virtuix Omni for a similar application, perhaps we’ll see the two come together in the near future?
Project Holodeck, a VR platform being built by a team out of USC, was originally relying on the Razer Hydra for hand tracking. Now it would seem that the team will be moving to STEM, and likely bringing five-point body tracking to their system. Sixense released a video showing a yet unseen Project Holodeck game where the player assumes the roll of a wizard (the lightning spell from the staff seems totally OP!):
We’ve got our eye on STEM and will let you know when it’s available for pre-order from Sixense.