Steve Hansted from Sixense took to the stage at VR Launchpad in Mountain View, CA today to announce that the virtual reality 3D modelling application MakeVR, often used alongside the company’s STEM motion controllers, is being “spun out” into a separate company and will become “hardware agnostic” where VR input is concerned.

VR Launchpad, the virtual reality startup showcase, is underway and one of the 24 startup pitching to the VRL panel today was not a startup at all – at least not yet. MakeVR is a software application developed by Sixense which aims to lower the barrier of entry for 3D modelling, traditionally an extremely technical and skilled arena. Utilising naturalistic and intuitive motion input, the application lets you sculpt with your hand inside a virtual space, allowing the user to express themselves freely or with great precision.

We’ve been fans of MakeVR for some time now, ever since Executive Editor Ben Lang first got his hands on a very early prototype way back at GDC in 2013. The team behind the application, effectively a separate R&D offshoot inside Sixense, originally built MakeVR around the company’s first motion controller—the Razer Hydra, but over time became one of the ‘killer apps’ rolled out to demonstrate Sixense’s STEM wireless motion controllers. Clearly, with Sixense’s focus on developing a great motion controller, it seemed likely that MakeVR would remain tied to STEM going forward.

See Also: Exclusive Hands-on: Sixense MakeVR Brings 3D Modeling to the Masses with Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra Support

Now, Director of Business Development and Community Manager at Sixense, Steve Hansted, has chosen the startup event VR Launchpad to announce that MakeVR will be spun out into a separate company, away from Sixense. This means that the company will be free to explore input devices and become “hardware agnostic”. Hanstead said that they were looking forward to bringing MakeVR to ‘Lighthouse’, Valve’s laser-based motion tracking technology that powers the HTC Vive VR system.

This seems like a smart move by Sixense, as its STEM project has faced seemingly countless problems reaching market after a very successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2013. Both Valve and Oculus both have VR input solutions which offer the freedom of movement and precision likey to do MakeVR justice and we’re looking forward to seeing it action on those platforms.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • brandon9271

    This was a smart idea. For one it will greatly increase their user base which has to be small considering how few people actually have STEM devkits or hydras. Also, Sixense may be in trouble if Lighthouse and Touch come to market before them.. So they need something to generate revenue if STEM flops.. and I think it could. Lighthouse is superior tech IMO and Touch may be as well. Both are backed by VR powerhouses so Sixense has un uphill battle.

  • Curtrock

    Well, there goes any last vestige of a reason why my $300 investment in the STEM system might be of any use. Anyway, I’m happy that MakeVR will be available as standalone software on other systems. I hope they learned their lesson from the failed Kickstarter attempt, which I also backed. Just in case, here is a little reminder: people want to use MakeVR to MAKE VR!!!!!!!!! Not to create 3D printable trinkets!

  • mpisco

    As amazing as MakeVR looks, I’m really hesitant to support this company. I had a horrible experience dealing with them following my pre-order of the STEM system. Keep in mind it was a pre-order and I was not a backer, two very different things. As a customer, I felt in the dark and lied to. I expected a finished product delivered on a timeline. My pre-order was treated as if it was a backer’s money used to support their R&D for the STEM instead of for a finished product. After a year of limbo, I accepted their awful pre-order cancellation fee of 30% and moved on. With this product, I foresee a lack of updates along with outrageous prices.