Tactical Haptics, creators of the ‘Reactive Grip’ controller are due to begin taking dev kit pre-orders on May 29th. Targeting the enterprise and LBE sectors, the company expects pricing to start at $650 per controller, with a release date due in Q4. Since the initial introduction of the controllers years ago, the company has steadily improved performance and introduced a smart redesign that makes them highly modular.

Tactical Haptics has been part of the modern VR scene since day zero. We first saw the Reactive Grip tech—which uses sliding bars to provide unique ‘shear’ feedback—way back in 2013. Riding the early VR hype, the company sought to bring the controllers to early adopters through a Kickstarter campaign which fell short of its goal way back when. Since then the company has steadily improved the controller’s performance and manufacturability, and managed to impress us pretty much any time we got our hands on it thanks to its truly unique haptics.

The company has pivoted their approach to bring the Reactive Grip controllers to VR enterprise and LBE markets, and is now set to open pre-orders for the controllers on May 29th, with shipping expected in Q4 2019. Later this month, Tactical Haptics says it will show off the controllers with an integration of the VR LBE game Sweet Escape.

The latest version of the Reactive Grip controller has a smart design which makes it modular in two distinct ways.

First, the ‘Core Controller’ is a single design which can be adapted to various existing VR tracking systems using add-on brackets. For instance, the company offers brackets to attach a Vive Tracker or Oculus Touch, allowing the Reactive Grip controller to be tracked with the same system as whichever headset is in use (which cuts out a bunch of headaches that come with using two separate tracking systems). Tactical Haptics also plans to offer brackets for WMR and Rift S controllers.

(Left to right) Core Controller, Controller with Vive Tracker bracket, Controller with Oculus Touch bracket | Image courtesy Tactical Haptics

Second, ‘Multi-Pose’ magnets can be attached to the controllers as needed; these are special magnetic sockets which allow two controllers to be connected together on the fly to form various poses which can be dynamically incorporated into gameplay (for instance, changing from dual pistols to a two-handed weapon when connecting the controllers together).

Magnets can connect the controllers in novel ways for new functionality within games. | Image courtesy Tactical Haptics

Because of the modular design, developers planning to build for the controllers can configure them as needed for each individual experience, cutting down on weight and cost compared to if each controller came equipped with all possible options.

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Tactical Haptics plans to ship the dev kit controllers with tech demos, an SDK, and plugins for Unity and Unreal, so that developers can integrate the controller’s unique haptics with their content.

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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."
  • These controllers have always made me curious… and I think that for some arcades, they may really be cool

    • Prefer finger motion like Index.

      • oompah


    • Trevor Jones

      depends on the game, but i don’t know about hand presence with these.

  • Shaiza

    Good fucking lord $650????

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Not a big deal for businesses…

      • Dan DeMontmorency

        True but what is it bringing to the table that a tracking puck & gun shaped controller? Seems quite steep.

      • Mable Sharkfin

        Of course it is – any business which has grown to the level it can afford to fritter away such money didn’t do so making stupid purchases like this.

    • Will Cho

      That’s per controller and not a pair.

  • oompah

    650 dollars
    I am happy with 40$ xbox controller

    • jj

      yaeh 650 is too much but also 40 xbox controller is just as stupid for vr. you jsut hit both ends of the spectrum here bud so just as dumb as this might be, youre other option is really dumb too, but at least its not 650 dumb

      • oompah

        I have 6DOF controllers too which r cool but slightly pricey & they eat alkaline batteries like potato chips.Batteries on Xbox controller can last many months.

        • Jordy

          Just buy some rechargeable batteries!
          I have 2400mA rechargeable batteries and they last about 1 week in Oculus Touch CV1 controllers.

    • Mable Sharkfin

      that’s each too. EACH. Beyond delusional even for B2B / enterprise.

  • Better message my hands at that price and keep em cool.

    Heck, blow cool air as well.

  • Mable Sharkfin

    Just a half-step until the big players adopt their own solutions… watch them go bust.

  • Mrfox Babbit

    ..Per?…..bahaha…per!?!! Good fucking luck guys. Preposterous.