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Sixense Heads to Kickstarter, Teams with Virtuix

By - Source: Sixense Entertainment | B 9 comments

Combined with the Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni, the new STEM System should complete your total immersion.

Motion tracking hardware and software developer Sixense Entertainment said last week that it plans to launch its new wireless motion tracking platform, the STEM System, as a Kickstarter project on September 12. The company claims this new system will precisely capture the user’s every move, both at the desktop and throughout the living room. The system will be ideal for gaming, virtual reality and other applications that require physical interaction.

"The STEM System platform is an evolutionary step in Sixense motion tracking technology, which has previously powered the Razer Hydra PC gaming controller," the company said. "Advancements for the STEM System platform include much longer range, a wireless, modular form factor, and better tracking performance at all ranges."

The STEM System platform will support up to five wireless motion tracking modules, or STEMs, for full position and orientation tracking of the entire body or other configurations. It's also an open platform, meaning software developers can create content with virtually no restrictions, and device makers can embed STEMs for tracking their own peripherals or wearable devices. The second-generation Sixense SDK covers both the new features, and provides backwards compatibility with games and hardware powered by the previous generation, including Razer's Hydra.

"The STEM System is our first Sixense-branded hardware, and it embodies our vision of the ideal user interface for virtual worlds and digital media," said Amir Rubin, co-founder of Sixense. "The funding and feedback we receive from the Kickstarter project will forge an essential partnership between Sixense and a community that has embraced emerging technologies in gaming and VR. By delivering STEM System developer kits to Kickstarter backers first, we will be able to make a much better consumer product than we could on our own."

Sixense Entertainment is the developer responsible for bringing PlayStation Move control to Valve's Portal 2. Founded in 2007, the company has commercialized ultra-precise motion tracking hardware technology and 3D multi-touch software for gaming, fitness, 3DTV control and other interactive applications. Technologies supported include electromagnetic trackers (Razer Hydra), depth cameras (Intel's upcoming desktop camera) and hybrid inertial/optical systems (PS Move).

Sixense is currently teamed up with Virtuix and Oculus at PAX Prime 2013 to demonstrate a complete VR setup. The demo includes the Oculus Rift HMD for seeing and navigating the virtual environment, the Virtuix Omni "tredmil" for walking, and the STEM system to naturally and intuitively interact with the virtual world thanks to full position and orientation tracking.

"The STEM System creates new possibilities for full motion control in VR," said Jan Goetgeluk, CEO and founder of Virtuix. "Not just walking, as we provide, but hand motions and independent gun tracking. We are excited about this great technology."

The videos below demonstrate the STEM System combined with Oculus Rift using three and four STEM tracking modules. Oh yeah.

The STEM System Using Three Sensors

The STEM System Using 4 Sensors

Display 9 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    Novulux , September 2, 2013 1:28 PM
    Well, I'm already a backer of the other two and have been following this for a while. Can't wait to have it all together!
  • -2 Hide
    funguseater , September 2, 2013 2:18 PM
    And once again Kickstarter backers will get pooched with an unfinished Beta test Unit, and when the commercial version hits the shelves it will be cheaper, easier to use and have a warranty. Don't get me wrong, this controller looks amazing but Kickstarter has a terrible track record, look at the Ouya selling in stores BEFORE being shipped to all backers, remember the pebble also selling before people received their correct item. Kickstarter is a great way to fund projects but do not expect a finished product, after all they are using you as product testers.
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , September 2, 2013 4:08 PM
    Quote:
    And once again Kickstarter backers will get pooched with an unfinished Beta test Unit, and when the commercial version hits the shelves it will be cheaper, easier to use and have a warranty. Don't get me wrong, this controller looks amazing but Kickstarter has a terrible track record, look at the Ouya selling in stores BEFORE being shipped to all backers, remember the pebble also selling before people received their correct item. Kickstarter is a great way to fund projects but do not expect a finished product, after all they are using you as product testers.


    thats how best buy works, they fill shelves before pre orders are fulfilled, blame them for the ouya

    the rift, that was SPECIFICALLY said to be a dev kit, if you got it thinking any different its your problem.

    so far, the ouya is about what everyone should have expected from the price and the hardware, and the rift went out of there way to tell you what to expect.
  • 1 Hide
    notsleep , September 2, 2013 9:16 PM
    so...how do you use that stapler-looking controller in the picture? i don't see it in the two video clips. it looks rather heavy to hold for extended period of time. :p 
  • 1 Hide
    qlum , September 2, 2013 11:48 PM
    As someone who has quite enjoyed his razer hydra and the support sixsense gives it I am quite willing to go for this. Like the hydra Support for the controller isn't that important, sure supporting it can add quite a bit but its perfectly valid with just key remapping and considering using mouse and keyboard isn't that good an option when using the rift I'd say controllers like this are ideal as they offer better control then a regular controller and can be used without sight pretty well.

    And yes I can type blindly as anyone should however full lack of sight still gets annoying.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , September 3, 2013 5:24 AM
    Quote:
    so...how do you use that stapler-looking controller in the picture? i don't see it in the two video clips. it looks rather heavy to hold for extended period of time. :p 


    grow some muscles?

    that said, im guessing its a version to simulate grasping something.
    at some point it may turn into 5 different points you can grip.
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , September 3, 2013 7:54 AM
    Cool if you move up close to the bottom video you get 3D, pixelated but still.
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , September 4, 2013 2:41 AM
    why not go directly for VR gloves? no tactile feedback on V1.0 maybe, but soon to come
  • 0 Hide
    Mrob760 , September 11, 2013 11:44 PM
    I'm a developer and own an oculus and the razer hydra. Here is a vid I did that shows what is possible. http://youtu.be/kAQTotpaBSs I will be getting the STEM system so I can support it but I think the PrioVR kickstarter project is going to be far better for tracking your body movement in a VR game environment. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yeitechnology/priovr-get-your-ideas-moving