En Garde: Pimax Unveils Sword Sense VR Controllers With Finger Tracking

Pimax today revealed details about its upcoming VR controllers. The company plans to offer two versions of its next-gen input device, dubbed Sword and Sword Sense, and will begin mass production immediately to prepare for release in the second half of the year.

Pimax recently released the Pimax 5K Plus and Pimax 8K VR headsets, which were the products of a massively successful Kickstarter campaign it ran in 2017. The company isn’t done releasing new devices this year, though. Now, Pimax is promising two sets of controllers to complete the VR package.

Pimax put the development of the controller aside while it worked on producing and shipping its headsets to backers. Once it completed the development of the headsets, it began working diligently on the controller design.

The Sword series controllers both have a look that resembles the hilt of a sword. The company said it took input from the community of backers to determine the style of the controllers and which features to include. It turned out that many backers wanted a thumbstick design, while many others preferred a trackpad. So Pimax decided to make both.

Pimax Sword controller

The base Sword controller is wireless with 6-Degrees of Freedom and has a trackpad. The higher end Sword Sense model incorporates all of the above, plus a thumbstick. Both are compatible with SteamVR Lighthouse tracking. 

The Sword Sense model also features capacitive touch sensors that can track your finger movement, much like Valve’s Index VR controllers, shipping in June.

Both versions of the controller include grip, menu, system and trigger buttons. They have a strap that enables you to release your grip, just like the Index controllers.

Pimax Sword Sense controller

Pimax also adopted the best of both worlds when it comes to battery power. Like HTC Vive’s controllers, the Sword controllers feature internal Lithium-Ion cells that you can recharge with a USB cable. The controllers also include a removable panel that lets you remove the battery to swap in a spare, like the Oculus Touch controllers. Pimax said the included battery pack offers 9000mAh of power.

Pimax did not reveal the prices for the Sword and Sword Sense controllers, but it shouldn’t be too long before more details arrive, as the controllers will “soon enter production,” according to Pimax.

Photo Credit: Pimax

 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.