reactive grip kickstarter tactical haptics

Tactical Haptics launched their Reactive Grip Kickstarter at the beginning of November. After a great start out of the gate, funding has slowed significantly. There’s one day left to back the Kickstarter and help make Reactive Grip a reality.

Reactive Grip is a haptic VR controller dev kit by Tactical Haptics. Reactive Grip uses sliding bars on the surface of the controller to create unique tactile sensations that go beyond mere rumble. Check out our impressions of the prototype Reactive Grip system from GDC 2013.

From the outset it seemed like Reactive Grip was going to crush its goal. Excitement for the unique controller was palpable within the VR community. Day one saw a whopping $57,491 raised of the $175,000 Kickstarter goal by 270 backers. But funding petered out quickly, with the campaign seeing an average of $2,560 per day since the start of the campaign.

Now, with one day remaining and $87,252 raised, Tactical Haptics needs significant help for the Reactive Grip Kickstarter to succeed.

Some onlookers noted the lack of integrated motion tracking and wireless as reasons for not supporting the Kickstarter. Tactical Haptics added a $245,000 stretch goal for wireless connectivity on Reactive Grip and also added the option for backers to add STEM tracking units to their order for $39 each. The STEM units would provide accurate magnetic tracking for Reactive Grip but also require the STEM base to operate.

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Reactive Grip Kickstarter

Did you support the Reactive Grip Kickstarter? Why or why not?

Kickstarter data courtesy Kicktraq

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  • Kemic

    Stem Cost: 5 Tracker Bundle + base (2 controllers included) = $299
    This includes the 2 wireless controllers, 3 extra wireless point trackers, and the base (which also has a wireless option built in thanks to the stretch goal)

    Reactive Grip: Early bird (note: sold out anyways) 2 controller bundle = $299 (cheapest award available is $319 now)
    This is 2 controllers with their special feedback. You also lose the wireless portion of the controller, and the stretch goal doesn’t actually fix this, it only changes where those wires go (from the computer to a pack that attaches to your person).

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why this kickstarter is wasn’t going to be successful. If they fix it so that the controllers offer the same functionality as the STEM ones, or better, and set the price somewhere reasonable, it may have a chance next time. As it stands, your basically paying for more than a 5-tracker STEM setup, and getting much less in return just for a gimmick.

    • Mageoftheyear

      While I wouldn’t call it a gimmick, there is much sense in your point.

      It has always been my hope that Tactical Haptics would licence their Reactive Grip technology to Sixense for the consumer edition of the STEM system. Seeing as it [the consumer edition] is quite a ways off that may still happen.

      I hope this makes it to mass market in a way that benefits both companies.

      • monographix

        I agree that licensing is the only option here. It’s too expensive – to have it work at full capacity you’d need to also have STEM – it would total price at 600$ (for other countries it’s 800$+) and render your STEM controllers unusable, which in turn would make you think “where the hell did I go wrong? Did I have to buy all that stuff?” The most valuable thing which dictates real value in all that junk is proactive accurate tracking technology – and Grip provides only reactive, additional experience which is not worth 300$ yet. It should be much, much cheaper.

        When I first saw it, hell, even later, I thought it was just another product of Sixense as it looked so similar to STEM and I was confused until I dug into it. I’m sure most people don’t know up till now what the hell it is and that you need to pay twice it’s price to have it actually working.

        Unless they license this technology to Sixense, I see no sense (tongue twister, lol) in trying to start a war in the market before even generation one is out.

  • Farfar

    I agree with the last comment. Its way too expensive.

  • VRMatthew

    To bad this one did not get backed. I seriously considered backing, but I cannot deal with wires any more. If they address this and do another kickstarter, I am all in.

  • Morgan

    I gave a small amount at the end – ultimately I think the tech is cool, but I would have no use for the product itself at this point. I still don’t have a Rift, much less content for it – this seems like something exclusively for devs. I love the idea, but it seems too soon to me for anyone beyond the development world to be involved with and if its just for devs, private backing seems like a better path. It’s not like Oculus doesn’t have $100k to develop controllers with.