striker vr

We’ve written about Striker VR and their electrically driven weapon recoil system previously, but it wasn’t until I met up with the company at Oculus Connect two days ago that I was able to try the system for myself. After 10 seconds of testing, I was sold.

gun-and-box
Striker VR currently has tethered prototypes, but says that battery power is practical for making the system fully wireless.

I’ve shot a number of real-life weapons from shotguns to pistols to rifles, so I have a good gauge when it comes to what gun recoil should feel like. And while it’s likely that we’ll never be able to perfectly simulate the recoil of a small explosive going off inside of a gun—without… well… setting off a small explosive inside of a gun—Striker VR has the most powerful and responsive recoil system that I’ve ever experienced. The company says that the recoil force provided by the system is plus or minus 5% of what demanded by the military for training.

At Oculus Connect I spoke with Martin Holly, Chief Operating Officer, and Kyle Monti, Chief Science Officer, of Striker VR. I got to try out a prototype of their recoil system and learn more about how it works.

Not shown in the video above is a pistol prototype that’s perhaps even more satisfying. I tried out the pistol in a demo using the Oculus Rift (tracked with Trinity VR’s tech) and when I fired, the recoil from the gun translated directly into the game. With a system like Striker VR, developers could skip simulated recoil completely and just let the real recoil doing its thing. What excites me most about that prospect is that it let’s players actually improve their recoil handling over time, adding another skill element to the game, rather than having the game simply impose a set amount of simulated recoil on the player.

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striker-vr-glock-render
A Striker VR Glock design which interacts with the weapon slide.

Motni showed me a Glock prototype that’s still being built which features a moving slide (the top part of a semi-automatic pistol that’s responsible for ejecting spent shells and loading new ones). Not only would this allow uses to cock the weapon by pulling the slide, the recoil action would also move the slide just like a real pistol. Striker says that they will “maintain the proper weight, form factor and center of gravity of the actual handgun…”

For now, Striker VR is targeting their technology toward the military and out-of-home venues like arcades, but they hope to drive the cost of the system down to a point of affordability for in-home VR use. At Oculus Connect, they told me they’re aiming for a $100 price point initially and believe they could bring it down as low as $55 for an entire gun controller with their recoil mechanism built-in.

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  • Druss

    These guys are severely underestimating what consumers would be willing to pay for this. A couple of hundred bucks for such accurate simulation would be an instant buy for many sim shooter gamers and even people who just really like vr shooters.

    Also, do they know of the upcoming USB 3.0? 100w power should power that thing right? :p

    • jessjr

      The majority of people cant afford to pay hundreds for a controller. no matter how good it is. if they keep it low they can make it more mainstream instead of a toy for just hardcore enthusiasts and the rich.

      • lasse

        if people are willing to throw down 250 for the oculus touch, they would be willing to pay 100$ for this

  • Jacob Pederson

    Is firing a gun with realistic recoil as many times as it takes to get through Half-Life 2 going to damage my wrists? Cool Idea though, I would give it a shot.

    • eyeandeye

      Let’s hope they never try and simulate real crowbars in VR Half-Life. Gordon should have the arms of a Blizzard character by now with the way he wields that thing.

  • Nick

    Awesome idea: use the magazine as a replaceable battery pack. Then you could swap batteries by “reloading” the gun.