3DRudder VR Peripheral Begins Shipping To Early Adopters

3DRudder announced that it has begun fulfilling pre-orders. 3DRudder is a peripheral designed for use with VR applications that allows you to use your feet to control VR applications.

We first saw the 3DRudder as an early prototype device at CES 2015. It was rough around the edges, but it showed tremendous potential. The company took a year to finalize the product and started taking pre-orders in November. At CES this year, we again spoke with the company and got a firsthand look at the final product, which was significantly improved over the prototype.

The 3DRudder is a round device with a convex bottom that allows it to rock in any direction. To use the 3DRudder, simply put your feet on it, and tilt it in the direction you want to move within the VR experience. Rocking it forward makes you move forward, rocking it back makes you go backwards. Strafing side to side is accomplished by rocking it to the left or the right, and turning laterally requires rotating the 3Drudder in the direction you want to turn. It gives you fine control over how much you want to move in any direction, just like a joystick, while leaving your hands free for other tasks.

3DRudder claimed that the device is intuitive to use and control, and based on the few demos we've had, we can confirm that to be true. How exactly game developers may use the 3DRudder remains to be seen, as it's rather unique in the VR world at this point. However, one can imagine myriad uses, not the least of which is controlling flight SIMs, moving around VR landscapes in vehicles and perhaps affording differently-abled people powerful ways to navigate and control a virtual world.

3DRudder is in the process of fulfilling past pre-orders, and the company is actively taking more orders. You can purchase a 3DRudder peripheral for $179.99, which 3DRudder said will be shipped in approximately one month.

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 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.