The move to virtual reality (VR) display technologies has left many control methods in the dust. Due to the way in which we’re now able to view digital environments, archaic controllers and keyboards no longer suit.
As VR has begun to pick up, many have been looking for the solution, exploring motion control, physical devices and even motion capture suits. Now, the answer may have been found by two researchers in Wyoming.
The device, called 3DTouch, is a thimble worn on the finger that’s able to read movements in 3D space and translate these to onscreen controls. For example, gestures made within the real world, like a wave, will be translated to whatever is on screen.
In effect, the device functions like a motion capture suit, but without external cameras or costly suits and sensors.
At the present stage of development, users can replicate the function of a mouse by selecting and dragging 3D objects, finger tapping and double tapping.
Currently, the device is tethered to an Arduino controller, a device designed to combine the data from all the sensors and then send to a laptop or desktop PC. The information can then be processed by the application.
Of course, the wired setup isn’t ideal, especially when users won’t be able to keep track of the cables when this device is combined with a VR headset.
“This wired connection later could be replaced by a wireless solution using a pair of XBee modules,” the researchers have said.
These researchers aren’t the only ones developing VR control methods, and it’s a certainty Oculus VR are exploring controllers of their own. Just what form the industry will adopt is up in the air at the moment, however, with a number of solutions on the table.