Lord Gaben and crew has graced us with Valve’s newest VR product and it is the next generation of VR hand controllers. Valve’s updated hand controllers, nicknamed “knuckles”, seems to show the unit has the capabilities of sensing finger positions, realistic grasping and release sensations.
The “knuckles” are being shipped to developers around the world to get their feedback and will be only released for a limited amount. The knuckles itself looks very ergonomic, slim and lightweight.
Compared to the current controllers, the Knuckles is definitely an upgrade. The user can hold the knuckles in the center and let go of it. A strap at the bottom can be tightened around the hand so the controller doesn’t fall out. This indicates the user can have full finger movement with the knuckles. As Valve demonstrates with their start guide, the user can have multiple finger gestures, movements, and complex interactions.
The awesome thing about the Knuckles is the ability to freely manipulate objects in the virtual space like you would in real life. Before, it was pretty challenging for a user to grab things with the Vive controllers. Now the user can naturally interact with virtual objects and really mimic real life actions, taking HTC’s immersion to the next level. There are sensors on the grip of the Knuckles that will sense as your fingers leave and touch the grip. You can now pinch to grab, flick and do complex finger movements that were impossible before on the Vive. This is where the Oculus Touch was beating HTC and now they have responded.
This is HTC’s response to Oculus Touch. Oculus Touch is definitely one of my favorite controllers because of its finger sensors and its light weightiness. Now Valve has responded with their version of the Touch, I am really excited for them to finalize the concept and bring it to market. This is what the VR industry is really missing, immersive hardware that can blend the lines of virtual and reality. This type of controls will really open up a lot of doors for developers and their ideas, pushing the VR industry forward. We can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with these Knuckles!