On Kickstarter, there's a new project underway that's looking for backers to fund the development of a special add-on to the Oculus Rift. Called Nimble Sense, the tech adds hands to the virtual environment thanks to a special camera that's mounted on the front of the Rift. The device is meant for any VR headset actually, but it's currently optimized for the Rift Development Kit 2.
According to the Kickstarter project, the Nimble Sense is comprised of a depth sense camera that captures a dense 3D point cloud within a 110 degree field of view, as well as skeletal hand-tracking software. The camera, which is about the size of a pack of gum, detects where the hand is positioned, and the software identifies the joints of each finger. The information is provided via an API that developers can insert into their application.
"We have been working to build the absolutely best hardware and software system for skeletal hand tracking, and we are ready to get Nimble Sense into the hands of developers and innovators," the Kickstarter project said.
So far the project has 87 backers pledging $9,602, and that's just for starters. The campaign has 45 days to go with a goal of reaching $62,500. For those who pledge more than $99, they'll get the Nimble Sense depth camera module and the Oculus Rift DK2 mount. Pledge $104 or more and get the Nimble Sense camera and the desktop mount.
A Nimble VR representative revealed on Tuesday that the company has already raised $1.9 million in seed funding. The team is also made up of experts in computer vision/graphics and visual effects. Their experience spans from Industrial Light and Magic R&D to Lucasfilm to Pixar. They've also earned PhDs from Carnegie Mellon, MIT and UC Berkeley.
"The power of virtual reality puts you into a different world, and now with Nimble Sense you can bring your hands with you," said Robert Wang, a Founder of Nimble VR. "Anywhere you look you will be able to see and use your hands with a new generation of games and applications designed to let you naturally interact in virtual reality."
The Nimble Sense production schedule shows that the hardware and design will be finalized by December 2014. After that, it goes into compliance testing and certification in January 2015, production tooling in February, production tests in March, and mass production in April. The estimated delivery of the Nimble Sense camera is June 2015.