Etee, the finger-tracking VR ambassador with SteamVR Tracking, has about accomplished its Kickstarter ambition with affluence of time to spare. Admitting the ambassador is advised to be chargeless of buttons, sticks, and triggers (relying instead on feel tracking), its creators say it can acclimate to absolute VR games. TG0, the aggregation abaft Etee, has shared Half-Life: Alyx gameplay with the controllers and a Q&A which speaks to the decisions basal the controller’s design.
The Etee Kickstarter launched on April 1st, 2020, ambience out to raise £45,900 (~$56,000) for Etee ambassador dev kits. The attack appears to be aloof canicule abroad from extensive its ambition with about four weeks to spare.
And while the controllers aren’t advised carefully for VR gaming, TG0 has marketed for that use-case (among others) and claims that they are altogether adjustable for the ascribe needs of absolute SteamVR games.
To authenticate that the Etee controllers are up to the task, the aggregation has appear two videos showing Half-Life: Alyx played with the controllers (note: that the aggregation is application Vive Trackers for now but the final ambassador will accommodate a bespoke SteamVR Tracking bore congenital into the controller).
The acceptable account is that Half-Life: Alyx and abounding added amateur can acclimate to the ambassador afterwards any appropriate modifications to the bold (thanks to Valve’s forward-looking SteamVR Ascribe system).
At a minimum the bold looks absolutely playable with the Etee controllers, admitting afterwards aggravating it ourselves, it’s adamantine to say how consistently gestures like grabbing, throwing, and cutting will accomplish afterwards any buttons or triggers. If TG0 creates a absolutely accordant disciplinarian for the SteamVR Ascribe system, it should be accessible to abuse abounding of these ambit and punch in article that feels appropriate (assuming the basal accouterments that advance fingers is accomplishing its job well). At a minimum, we’re animated to see the aggregation not afraid abroad from assuming the gaming use-case of the Etee controllers in greater detail.
In accession to the Alyx footage, TG0 has additionally aggregate a self-Q&A with Road to VR (below) which expounds on the architecture decisions basal the controller. TG0 has additionally committed to answering added questions actuality in the comments, so feel chargeless to bead a band beneath if you accept added questions.
Mick Lin, our super-creative interface artefact architecture specialist, originally hails from Taiwan. He began developing etee afterwards co-founding TG0 aback in 2016.
What array of acknowledgment accept you apparent so far to etee?
People are absolutely impressed, which feels abundant afterwards spending so abundant time developing it. Most bodies are absorbed by how this tiny ambassador works – it’s article absolutely new that bodies haven’t apparent before. We are accepting a lot of agitation about the buttonless aspect. Some bodies like the idea. Some don’t. But we absolutely accept we are accomplishing the appropriate thing.
etee is your baby. How did the abstraction aboriginal appear about?
Initially, we didn’t set out to accomplish a ambassador at all. It was during a brainstorming affair on the uses of TG0’s technology that we realised how able-bodied our tech would assignment back accumulated with a VR controller. The added we discussed the idea, the added we knew it was article we aloof had to make.
What were your key goals as you set out designing etee?
We capital the lightest and simplest architecture possible, article that was automatic to use with an absorbing feel analysis level. Because we capital the ambassador to be quick and accessible to put on and booty off, we steered bright of fiddly cuff designs. What we’ve concluded up with is a ambassador that can be slipped on and off in seconds, and because it’s so baby and light, you can alike stop to acknowledgment the buzz while cutting it.
Why did you adjudge not to use buttons?
When you anticipate about it, buttons are appealing ancient and bulky technology. Afterwards button layouts to memorise, movement becomes automatic and a lot afterpiece to how it is in absolute life. Instead of bulky buttons, we fabricated a ambassador that harnesses finger-sensing technology. This leads to a absolutely different, above experience.
Shooting amateur are growing in acceptance in the VR/AR sphere. Can etee actor a gun with no activate button?
It absolutely can – you aloof move your basis feel as you commonly would to cull a trigger. etee is absolutely a game-changer in this area: acknowledgment to avant-garde burden sensing, you can accept accoutrements with assorted activate sensitivities and footfall triggers, article that no added ambassador offers. Rather than architecture the ambassador about a activate function, we went for a human-centric design. If you focus heavily on buttons, blueprint and duke position for shooting, again aback aggregate is a cutting game. As the old adage goes, if you alone accept a bang every botheration is a nail.
How abounding versions of the architecture did you go through?
There were absolutely added than 40 iterations, anniversary adaptation honing altered elements of the design. Every date brought new challenges to assignment through: we bigger aggregate from the arresting apprehension and wireless affiliation to etee’s adeptness to ascertain altered sizes of easily back it’s best up. We experimented with altered 3D forms and textures, and took addendum of altered user’s experience. We congenital all of that acknowledgment to accomplish abiding that users acquaintance absolute abandon with their duke gestures.
How does TG0’s technology set etee afar from added controllers?
We’re concrete ascendancy specialists, which agency we can accompany article to the table that few others can. The conductive actual we’ve acclimated is appealing altered and gives etee a able analysis system. The anatomy itself is adequately simple, yet there’s no added ambassador like it. We capital the end aftereffect to be absolutely different, appropriately etee’s ergonomic appearance and the annular ascendancy surface, which agency that bodies can collaborate with it intuitively.
Can you see etee actuality acclimated alfresco of VR?
Absolutely, I anticipate there is ambit for etee to be acclimated in all sorts of means and we’ve advised it with that alteration in mind. It works able-bodied as a joystick in gaming, for example, as able-bodied as for hacking added ascendancy devices. I can additionally see it actuality acclimated for accumulated VR training purposes too, as able-bodied as uses in telecommunications and tele-presence. The possibilities for a ambassador like this are far-reaching.
What is the abutting step?
We appetite to booty etee to the abutting level. To do so we charge backers for our Kickstarter campaign. We accept started able-bodied but every advocate makes a difference; amuse abutment us if you can.
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