Feet On Experience, Conclusion
3DRudder described the foot controller as “super intuitive,” and said that you should be able to learn the four basic movements in 10 seconds or less. The company also claimed that after about a minute, most people “master various combinations” of inputs. But that’s not how I would describe my own experience with it.
The concept is simple enough; just tilt the 3DRudder in the direction you want to move your avatar or camera. Using the controller is not difficult, it’s just not as intuitive as the company would like you to believe. Using your feet this way is not natural, so it took some practice to find the neutral spot after spinning in one direction or another, and to master vertical movement.
I found that the rubber on the bottom of the 3DRudder helps to hold it in place on carpeted surfaces, but it doesn’t do much good on hardwood and laminate flooring. During my testing, the 3DRudder would often drift away from its original position as I rocked it back and forth and spun it side to side. It’s not easy to use the device when it keeps running away from you, and on multiple occasions, I found I had to reach down and re-position it.
Despite the aforementioned shortcomings, and my difficulty mastering the 3DRudder, I still see the potential for this device. 3DRudder isn’t wrong when it says you can free your hands for other things while moving around. This will come in handy with experiences that eventually combine the 3DRudder with some kind of hand-controlled input. 3DRudder did give me early access to a rudimentary painting application that lets you fly through the air while drawing.
Tilt Brush (for HTC Vive) is an excellent drawing program, but your canvas is limited by how high you can reach. The 3DRudder would allow you to reach far into the sky if Google were to add support.
It’s up to developers now to figure out the best ways to use the 3DRudder. Consumers should probably wait until there are some signature application experiences.
MORE: All VR Content
MORE: Virtual Reality Basics
MORE: The HTC Vive Review
MORE: The Oculus Rift Review