Today the Trinity Magnum launches on Kickstater. While there are a number of other options in the works, the Trinity Magnum is the first to approach VR input on the PC with an optical tracking solution. Priced at $100, the Magnum aims for affordability.
While STEM, PrioVR, and ControlVR are all well on their way to producing exciting VR input options, they all come with a non-trivial pricetag. Starting at $75 for the early-bird option and then $100 for the rest, the Trinity Magnum aims to be the most affordable choice for VR input. Today, TrinityVR launches the Trinity Magnum Kickstarter seeking $60,000 in crowdfunding to produce a developer kit and SDK.
The Magnum takes the shape of a gun with a glowing ball on the end, similar in looks to the PlayStation Move. The unit is designed to be gripped with one or two hands. Orientation is tracked with a “9-DOF” IMU while the glowing ball serves as a point of reference for 1:1 positional tracking. In addition to any OpenCV-compatible camera (many webcams), the TrinityVR team expect to support optical tracking with the Oculus Rift DK2’s IR camera as well as the PlayStation Eye and Microsoft Kinect for Windows. While a quality camera may seem like a hidden cost, the TrinityVR team recommend the PlayStation Eye which can be picked up for a nominal $8.
TrinityVR says that the Magnum will be accurate to within 2 degrees of orientation and 5mm of position with 95Hz sampling and less than 30ms of latency. Positional tracking sampling and latency will presumably be capped by the framerate and latency of the camera in use. TrinityVR notes that you’ll see better performance from better cameras:
As newer webcams introduce higher framerates and greater resolutions, tracking accuracy, framerate and tracking area improve over time. We’ve chosen to pursue a scalable and open tracking technology that grows with the camera hardware ecosystem so that developers are only limited by the current hardware available and are future-proofed as technologies mature over time.
The Trinity Magnum features an ambidextrous design that works equally well for left- and right-handed players. The unit has a joystick toward the back surrounded by four buttons; on the foregrip are two opposing joysticks to support right- and left-handed users. A trigger is naturally positioned near the front grip and rumble feedback is built in. TrinityVR co-founder and head of product, Julian Volyn tells me that the design is not final and the Magnum may condense the two front joysticks into a single joystick (positioned to still allow for ambidextrous use).
Quail Hunt, Boot Camp, and Z0NE (formerly Rift Wars)
TrinityVR plans to have some early content ready for developers when they receive the Magnum developer kit. Two in-house demos, Quail Hunt VR and Boot Camp, and one third-party demo, Z0NE (formerly Rift Wars), will be ready for developers to play and use as integration examples.
From some mock Quail Hunt VR cover art, the game appears to be based on the NES classic, Duck Hunt, though how much the gameplay it will actually borrow from the game is unknown. TrinityVR says the game will feature the following:
- Level-based quail shooter
- 3 gun modes – Single shot, burst, automatic
- 3 difficulty levels
- Compatible with Oculus Rift
- Compatible with PC, Mac, Linux
As for Boot Camp, the company notes that players can “take the Magnum for a test drive and shoot exploding barrels, crates, and try [their] aim in a target range full of re-spawning cut-outs.”
Z0NE (formerly Rift Wars) appears to be the first third-party title to promise support for the Trinity Magnum. A teaser, apparently showing the game being played with the Magnum prototype, can be seen above.
Trinity Magnum Kickstarter Tiers and Rewards
|The Early Bird||400 backers||1 Magnum Developer Kit||$85||$80.00|
|The Solo Experience||none||1 Magnum Developer Kit||$99||$99.00|
|It’s a Date||none||2 Magnum Developer Kits||$195||$97.50|
|The Early Bird, Indie Studio Edition||100 backers||4 Magnum Developer Kits||$300||$75.00|
|Indie Studio Pack||none||4 Magnum Developer Kits||$350||$87.50|
|This is Serious Business||none||10 Magnum Developer Kits||$800||$80.00|
|Forever in Our Hearts||none||2 Magnum Developer Kits, thanked in SDK source code||$1,000||–|
|The Original||10 backers||2 Magnum Developer Kits, signed replica of original prototype||$2,000||–|
|Hands on the Magnum||5 backers||6 Magnum Developer Kits, TrinityVR will personally integrate your game or application to work with the Magnum||$5,000||–|
|The Insider||2 backers||8 Magnum Developer Kits, TrinityVR will fly you out to check out their design and manufacturing process, take you out to dinner and discuss development strategy||$10,000||–|
There are also lesser tiers which don’t include the unit if you’d like to offer your support for the Trinity Magnum Kickstarter.
TrinityVR hopes to raise $60,000 through the Trinity Magnum Kickstarter to continue to work on the product’s design. For now the unit is considered a developer kit and will include an SDK to make it easy for developers to integrate the Magnum with games. The team hopes to ship the Trinity Magnum developer kit by December 2014, just 5 months from now. So far, no stretch goals have been announced, but the team is looking for feedback on what backers would like to see.