Striker VR Shows off Working Prototype of ARENA Infinity Haptic VR Gun

First development kits ship to select partners in Q4 2016


Striker VR’s ARENA Infinity is a haptic VR gun which can simulate various weapon fire modes and other haptic effects. After revealing the design of the accessory back in April, the company is now showing off a working prototype.

Based on the awesome retro-futuristic design by Edon Guraziu, Striker VR is showing off the first working prototype of the Arena Infinity. Aimed at the Digital Out-of-Home VR sector, the wireless peripheral has on-board haptics based on a linear actuator. The gun is capable of impressively powerful kick, especially for an electronic system, adding a convincing recoil to firing a virtual weapon.

The haptic engine in the gun can give feedback for the usual single, burst, and full-auto firing modes, but can also be used for other effects, like a sci-fi railgun that needs to be charged before firing (shown in the video at 0:28), or a chainsaw for hacking zombies apart (0:10).

Photo courtesy Valve
See Also: Valve Opens Vive’s Tracking Tech to Third-parties for Free, Details Dev Kit for Licensees

The Arena Infinity Prototype is currently using a temporarily affixed tracker, but the company plans to provide formal support for several tracking systems, giving location-based VR firms a choice in which tracking system is best suited for their use. The company says the Arena Infinity currently supports PhaseSpace and Sixense STEM tracking, and is also aiming to integrate Valve’s Lighthouse, Oculus’ Constellation, and PlayStation’s Move tracking systems.

Striker VR says that the first Arena Infinity development kits will be delivered to select partners in Q4 2016, which will include the haptic gun, SDK, and haptic sandbox range as an SDK sample. The company says more broad delivery of the development kit will come “soon after” the initial rollout.

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While Striker VR hasn’t announced a consumer-facing version of their haptic VR accessory, they tease, “the Arena Infinity is a first step to a broad solution aimed at peripherals that are easily attached to the virtual environment and afford users an infinite array of possibilities.”

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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."
  • Nice to see that work is being done in this space. Considering how many games are about shooting it would be lovely to have a consumer peripheral with their haptic engine. All in time though, let’s see what this arcade version will eventually cost first, and if it can bring more attention to haptics in general.

  • merri

    Doubles as a keytar.

  • Bryan Ischo

    Somehow seeing this makes me think of some kind of real life Last Starfighter situation where the armies of the world start seeing much better gun handling skills in new recruits due to their experience with holding and aiming simulated guns for thousands of hours in virtual shooting games.

    • WyrdestGeek

      Well, yeah.

      Some have already mentioned that even just a traditional fps game, while it might not turn people into violent psychopaths, and while it might not truly train people to hold a real gun– still it does give people a whole lot of practice with aiming and with squeezing the trigger without thinking about it.

      • Bryan Ischo

        Perhaps, but I think that there’s still something pretty disassociated from reality when “aiming and squeezing the trigger” is really just pushing joysticks and buttons on a game controller. When you’re getting used to holding and aiming a real gun, or a very convincing facsimile thereof … I think that’s where our greatest fears are realized.

      • realtrisk

        I’ve been playing FPS games since the original Wolfenstein, and I can assure you that none of them helped me even the slightest when I started buying and firing real guns. Nothing translates over. NOTHING. The only people who think this is true are FPS junkies who would like to believe it to be true and think that makes them experienced with firearms. No.

        • xarxa

          I’d disagree. After playing lots of stalker/America’s Army I was surprised at how little was there to catch me off guard when firing a real pistol/AR. You don’t get trained to hold it properly or counter physical climb/drift after each shot, and you certainly are not used to the weight. But you can learn not to close your eyes while shooting, which is a significant milestone. The gun’s build is also not surprising and with a bit of inquisitiveness you know what’s where.

          As a lifelong gamer I can say this: violent, bloody games with lots of murder and tons of psychopaths won’t turn you into a violent psycho. On the other hand, bad parenting, hard childhood and the society nowadays will do so with ease. People as surprisingly fragile at times, especially if they are not taught how to deal with failure and disappointment. But rather obviously, it’s easier to blame a game than admit one’s shortcomings.

    • realtrisk

      I don’t know. I see a myriad of problems with this along with the possibilities you mention. And I DO agree with what you said, there is a possible potential, but here are some issues I see with it that would keep it from being a real training tool.

      1) It is a bullpup design. While some countries such as Israel use bullpup rifles, most do not, and a normal rifle carries much differently. I have an IWI Tavor bullpup, and I love it. It’s my favorite firearm in the world, but it handles a LOT differently than my AR-15 or AK-47. With normal rifles, all the weight is in the front, with a bullpup, all the weight is in the back. Normal rifles are harder to hold for long periods. WAY harder. That said, it would be more useful for countries that do field bullpups for their military.

      2) Weight. I very much doubt this will have the real weight of a real gun. My Tavor fully loaded with a 30 rd. magazine and optics weighs over ten pounds, which is average for a bullpup. What are the chances that this will weigh even half that? Humping a rifle around, holding it steady on target when it weights that much… with a light ‘toy’ gun you won’t really be preparing for holding and firing the real thing. It’s hard to hold an AR-15 from a standing position for even 10 minutes for a new shooter.

      3) Recoil. I know the article says it has impressive recoil, but I must snort at this. End users would not be prepared for or even want anything close to real firearm recoil. Every new shooter is shocked when the gun kicks them in the shoulder the first time. Until this thing can kick so hard it leaves your shoulder black and blue, it will do nothing at all to prepare someone for the force of a 12ga shotgun or full-power rifle round like a .308 or higher. Only when it kicks that hard will it teach proper hold, proper trigger control, proper breathing, and proper care when firing. (eg, setting your stance appropriately to handle the recoil, instead of firing off balance, and not flinching, a shooter’s worst enemy.) I would suspect this thing will have the recoil of a .22lr at the absolute BEST, nothing more. Anything beyond that and it will tear itself apart if it is made out of plastic. All that said, a smaller rifle round like the 5.56 an AR-15 fires has much less recoil that a shotgun or sniper rifle… though still more than a .22lr. I just don’t think it will train.

      4) Trigger. A plastic toy cannot have a realistic feeling trigger, period. Unless they put metal parts into the trigger and build it like a real gun with a seer, hammer, and everything, this will not teach proper trigger mechanics and control. Things like trigger break and reset are critical for accurate, controlled fire. Learning to properly squeeze a trigger is paramount to learning to fight flinching (Flinching is the anticipation of recoil. New shooters tend to “bear down” on the gun as they pull the trigger, anticipating the sudden noise and kick. This is a bad practice and throws their aim off wildly. Learning how to keep yourself from doing this is a lifelong goal, and even veteran shooters like Hickok45 are caught on camera flinching.)

      I think to achieve weight, realistic trigger and recoil, the price of this thing would have to approach that of a real battle rifle, which is outside what most people will pay. So will it help people who have never fired a gun learn how to safely handle and fire one? I have my doubts.

      With all that said though, militaries the world over are training with airsoft, which have some of these weight and recoil shortcomings as well, so they clearly think it has benefits, and those would carry over to VR. I just think the benefits won’t really be along the lines of learning to fire a real gun.

  • Bryan Ischo

    Needs lighthouse sensors instead of those LED emitters.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      It needs lighthouse sensors AND LED emitters incorporated, so both techniques can be used, so it wouldn’t be limited to one specific tracking method.. If you are an oculus owner it isn’t really interesting to buy if it has lighthousesensors only, and for a vive owner it isn’t really interesting if it has led emitters only.. to be honest, I don’t think having both would increase the price a lot (it could ofcourse be a switch to let it choose between the two, so no unnecessary power is used for the led’s/sensors which isn’t in use at that moment.

      • Bryan Ischo

        Yes I think you’re right. For the time being while we have two tracking systems in play, devices should support both. I hope that the industry converges on one or the other solution eventually though to simplify things.

    • Sebastien Mathieu

      YESSSSSSS!!!! that would be incredible!!! imagine Raw data with a hero modeled with a rifle.. then you can transition to a pistol when you primary is empty!!!

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Looks really cool, and as a dutchie we can even propably import one as it doesn’t look anything like a real gun..

    • Bedankt! Ik kijk ernaar uit mn ontwerp in Nederland te zien :)

    • realtrisk

      It looks a lot like a bullpup rifle, which is obviously where the design is inspired from. Mostly it is just white instead of black, green, or brown. Google “IWI Tavor” and compare that to this. Would it be OK, you think?

  • The gun is cool, I want one…. but is that a Positional Tracked GearVR?!?! Looks like they put tracking lights in the removable faceplate and track it externally, then feed that data back to the phone. OMG! PLEASE RELEASE THAT!!!!!

    • And the gun is tracked too!

      • Yah, I got that the gun was tracked too. My point was this tracking tech itself was CLEARLY the most important thing, making the gun (the point of the article) seem far less important. There is the story about this new tracking technology?! Come on guys, post about THAT!!!

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    That looks awesome! Make one for the Vive!

  • Brian Leupold

    Looks cool!
    (Leupold Optics)