Video: Watch Valve’s New ‘Knuckles’ VR Controller in Action


Knuckles, Valve’s unique VR motion controller, is already in the hands of select developers who are no doubt designing ways to use the controller’s 5-finger tracking. In the video published by Zulubo Productions, we get a better look at just what Knuckles can do.

The demo, first seen in a Knuckles developer guide, is designed to let devs understand the controllers’ tracking capabilities, and what sorts of fine manipulation Knuckles provides users in a virtual setting.

With plenty of objects to suspend in mid-air with an anti-gravity machine, the demo lets you get used to picking up and manipulating physics objects with each finger, and use your individual fingers to poke at flat, screen-based UI.

To grab something, pinch your index finger and thumb together. You don’t have to click the trigger or touchpad, or even touch the controller. When both fingers contact the object you’re trying to pick up, you’ll grab it. You can also grab things using your other fingers against your palm, but this is difficult unless the object is cylindrical.

Using a single finger to reliably pick something up may not sound like a technical revelation, but it isn’t so much about what a few extra fingers can do physically, but rather about creating greater ‘hand presence’, or when your subconscious accepts the digital representations as ‘real enough’. Check out more about how Knuckles does it here.

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  • John J

    Very cool

    • brandon9271

      After “Knuckle” we get the long awaited Testicle controller.

  • Xron

    Seems like a decent upgrade.

    • John Hyde

      Only decent? I own Touch and just with the 1 finger & thumb tracking plus the limited way you can relax your grip makes it so much better than Vive wands.

      This thing is going to blow everything away. Vive users are finally getting the upgrade they need.

      • Mei Ling

        No doubt Oculus will be aware of this and will make an attempt to further upgrade the Touch’s design to incorporate more finger tracking and improved haptics. Isn’t competition grand? Reduces laziness and gets companies innovating!

        • Get Schwifty!

          Yup – and you know they will revise them,and quite honestly the development cycle should be much shorter as all they have to do is revise the current unit for the extra fingers. I’ve been looking to pick up a Vive setup as well but now with the improved tracking in Oculus and how well the controllers work I’m in no rush until the improved strap, base stations and controllers are standard.

    • brandon9271

      I just want to buy a set of these to use with my Rift.. I hope they make it possible. VR hardware and software needs to be “agnostic”

      • Mike Handles

        I’d rather they be atheist. I’m not sure I want my controllers believing in anything other than themselves, you know? *applause*

      • patchy571

        Why? The rift touch controllers already work fantastically and do a lot of what the knuckle controllers do. The knuckle controllers are more or less just upgrading incrementally and adding features plus a little extra that touch has.

        • NooYawker

          Is that the point of getting newer stuff, it’s always an incremental upgrade and a little extra.

    • NooYawker

      Looks amazing. It tracks each finger! Thats a major upgrade.

  • VRgameDevGirl

    This looks awesome! Can’t wait to start developing wish these!!! Do we have a ETA?

    • Get Schwifty!

      You do know if you get these for development you have to tell us about them :)

  • John Horn

    I must get one for my vive when it comes out. But I’m not fully sold on the curl sensor thing… the movement looks unnatural and synthetic. I was hoping they would go with something like leap tracking.

    • NooYawker

      It is a prototype but it seems to work similar to leap motion sensing your fingers. maybe leap motion will create something similar.

      • John Horn

        I think it doesn’t work at all like Leap. Leap works at a distance. This seems to work only by physical contact.

  • I can’t wait for vive owners to buy even more accessories and finally get the “touch like” experience.

  • Matias Nassi

    Wow seems like a huge step for interaction within SteamVR. Does anyone knows an estimate of when they are supposed to be ready for release? Hope we can get our hands on these this year.

  • NooYawker

    Japanese games are going to have a field day with the finger tracking.