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VR Gloves or improved hydra?

Arowx
Level 2
So are there any really nice VR glove systems available at consumable prices?

And would the Razor Hydra have not been better with a four finger button design, so you could map individual fingers to buttons/triggers?



Any good reviews of VR Glove systems or similar?
18 REPLIES 18

zalo
Level 3
To tell you the truth, I want a wireless hydra system that can track 3 different kinds of peripherals:
1. A normal hydra controller but wireless.
2. A wireless dataglove (perhaps with interchangeable electronics so you can mount them to left and right hand gloves).
3. A simple compact tracker for HMDs or your torso.

You'll need all three to look around, walk around, touch ... around, and to parent your controllers to your head space properly.

That would be ideal.

ChrisByatt
Level 2
I can imagine easy ways to measure where you fingers are with VR gloves.. variable resister on each joint, change in voltage shows the angle which your hands are at... the thing that becomes hard is where you hands are in space and how you're moving them.. I would love some glove system or Leap motion to be supported
Please check out my tech blog - http://techniquench.wordpress.com

KuraIthys
Level 2
The hydra is a bit of a dissapointment to be honest.

Don't get me wrong, it works, and it works well. But when you read through the sixsense SDK you start to realise how many of the features they originally designed into the system were pulled.

Things the hydra prototypes could do that the final design cannot:
(In no particular order)

- Base can light up in any RGB shade (Hydra is green only.)
- Wireless controllers
- Controller rumble.
- Up to 4 controllers per base station.
- Base stations with multiple frequencies - The drivers support up to 4 base stations, so long as they are on seperate frequencies so they don't interfere.

That means that if a design used all the features available in the SDK, you could track up to 16 wireless controllers within a 10 meter area. (And although the SDK assumes they all have buttons and analog sticks and the like, there's no reason why they couldn't be designed in different shapes and for different purposes.)

Also... Rumble. Which I miss quite badly after becoming used to how the wii uses it for haptic feedback sometimes.

Even with just a single base station, I can imagine designing a system based on the tech with 4 wireless controllers - 2 hand controllers, one for head tracking, and probably one on a waist strap for torso tracking.

- You could create gloves with the tech too if you wanted. Just mount the tracker onto the back of the hand, and replace the buttons with finger bend sensors and the like.

Pingles
Level 3
"KuraIthys" wrote:
The hydra is a bit of a dissapointment to be honest.

Don't get me wrong, it works, and it works well. But when you read through the sixsense SDK you start to realise how many of the features they originally designed into the system were pulled.


I can't speak for them or WHY they did what they did but I think a reasonable explanation is that they implemented the bare minimum so they could get their tech out their as cheap as possible in the hopes of increasing the chance of wide-scale adoption.

Then come out with Hydra+, Hydra Pro, etc. once gaming companies start using them.

I do remember somebody from the Hydra team saying it was Razer who insisted on wired controllers.

I am hoping that the second burst of life that the Rift seems to be giving the Hydra will be enough to continue the technology.

We'll see.

dmr83457
Level 2
"KuraIthys" wrote:

- Base stations with multiple frequencies - The drivers support up to 4 base stations, so long as they are on seperate frequencies so they don't interfere.

That means that if a design used all the features available in the SDK, you could track up to 16 wireless controllers within a 10 meter area. (And although the SDK assumes they all have buttons and analog sticks and the like, there's no reason why they couldn't be designed in different shapes and for different purposes.)


What is available in the current consumer version? Can multiple base stations be used at all currently without interfering? If so I'm really going to kick myself for not getting multiple when they were on sale. (edit: actually looks like sale good through end of May)

Felix12g
Level 2
Just a note, I ordered one a week back and it looks like they're back ordered by a month right now.

But that's definitely interesting to know about the API, do you think its a hardware or firmware restriction preventing the 4 controllers per base station?

EDIT:

"dmr83457" wrote:
"KuraIthys" wrote:

- Base stations with multiple frequencies - The drivers support up to 4 base stations, so long as they are on seperate frequencies so they don't interfere.

That means that if a design used all the features available in the SDK, you could track up to 16 wireless controllers within a 10 meter area. (And although the SDK assumes they all have buttons and analog sticks and the like, there's no reason why they couldn't be designed in different shapes and for different purposes.)


What is available in the current consumer version? Can multiple base stations be used at all currently without interfering? If so I'm really going to kick myself for not getting multiple when they were on sale. (edit: actually looks like sale good through end of May)


Docs say current Hydra only supports 1 frequency.

Though, it also says it still supports up to 4 controllers for the base station.
Code Monkey

KuraIthys
Level 2
"dmr83457" wrote:
"KuraIthys" wrote:

- Base stations with multiple frequencies - The drivers support up to 4 base stations, so long as they are on seperate frequencies so they don't interfere.

That means that if a design used all the features available in the SDK, you could track up to 16 wireless controllers within a 10 meter area. (And although the SDK assumes they all have buttons and analog sticks and the like, there's no reason why they couldn't be designed in different shapes and for different purposes.)


What is available in the current consumer version? Can multiple base stations be used at all currently without interfering? If so I'm really going to kick myself for not getting multiple when they were on sale. (edit: actually looks like sale good through end of May)


Unfortunately, no. Multiple base stations need to be on different frequencies to avoid conflicts, and the current hydra operates on a single, non-adjustable frequency. Adding more than one would probably just cause all of them to misbehave.

"Felix12g" wrote:
Just a note, I ordered one a week back and it looks like they're back ordered by a month right now.

But that's definitely interesting to know about the API, do you think its a hardware or firmware restriction preventing the 4 controllers per base station?



Yeah, I ordered mine with the VR discount code Oculus put in an email. (50% off). - it was already out of stock then. They claimed 2 weeks to get it on backorder at that point... I guess it'd be more now.

As to the 4 controllers per base station, from reading through a bit more of the SDK, the base station has to 'activate' the controllers somehow. (For the wireless ones, given the possibility of multiple base stations in the area, it mentions this might need special handling because the controllers by default tend to connect to whatever base station they first encounter.)

Looking at the hydra design itself, using wired controllers, I'm not sure. - I doubt they would bother deliberately crippling the internal processors, but they may not have wired the extra connections.

If the wire carries an independent signal for each of the two controllers, then I suspect there is going to be a physical limit of two controllers due to lack of available wiring for more.
If the cable somehow combines the data for both controllers though, it's feasible that it may be possible to create a functional device with up to 4 wired controllers, and possibly even sell it as an independent upgrade.

The controllers are plugged in to a socket on the base station, so the controllers are replaceable independent of the base station, certainly. On top of that, both controllers share a single wire, along most of the length...

However, it's more likely the two controllers are wired independently to the plug. (I guess you could test this if you took a unit apart and did a continuity test on the wiring.)

If that's the case, then the physical connection for the extra two controllers simply doesn't exist. - And I assume wireless controllers are off the table for a similar reason.

It's a pity, but it seems like a hardware limitation.

jjerald
Level 2
"KuraIthys" wrote:
The hydra is a bit of a dissapointment to be honest.

Don't get me wrong, it works, and it works well. But when you read through the sixsense SDK you start to realise how many of the features they originally designed into the system were pulled.

Things the hydra prototypes could do that the final design cannot:
(In no particular order)

- Base can light up in any RGB shade (Hydra is green only.)
- Wireless controllers
- Controller rumble.
- Up to 4 controllers per base station.
- Base stations with multiple frequencies - The drivers support up to 4 base stations, so long as they are on seperate frequencies so they don't interfere.

That means that if a design used all the features available in the SDK, you could track up to 16 wireless controllers within a 10 meter area. (And although the SDK assumes they all have buttons and analog sticks and the like, there's no reason why they couldn't be designed in different shapes and for different purposes.)

Also... Rumble. Which I miss quite badly after becoming used to how the wii uses it for haptic feedback sometimes.

Even with just a single base station, I can imagine designing a system based on the tech with 4 wireless controllers - 2 hand controllers, one for head tracking, and probably one on a waist strap for torso tracking.

- You could create gloves with the tech too if you wanted. Just mount the tracker onto the back of the hand, and replace the buttons with finger bend sensors and the like.


Sixense licensed their technology to Razer and Razer worked with Sixense in designing what features they wanted based upon what they believed would sell well and could be made at reasonable costs. Sixense is not exclusive in working with Razer and will work with other manufacturers. With that being said there are many more factors than just what the technology can do (e.g., consumer demand, price of components, marketing/investment costs, etc). Gloves with finger tracking, multiple trackers, rumblers, etc have all been done many times before--getting that to a price point that a large number of consumers are willing to pay is completely different story. Hopefully that will be changing in the near future with the growing demand of VR peripherals.

Jason
-- Jason Jerald, PhD Consultant NextGen Interactions http://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonjerald

Felix12g
Level 2
"KuraIthys" wrote:

As to the 4 controllers per base station, from reading through a bit more of the SDK, the base station has to 'activate' the controllers somehow. (For the wireless ones, given the possibility of multiple base stations in the area, it mentions this might need special handling because the controllers by default tend to connect to whatever base station they first encounter.)

Looking at the hydra design itself, using wired controllers, I'm not sure. - I doubt they would bother deliberately crippling the internal processors, but they may not have wired the extra connections.

If the wire carries an independent signal for each of the two controllers, then I suspect there is going to be a physical limit of two controllers due to lack of available wiring for more.
If the cable somehow combines the data for both controllers though, it's feasible that it may be possible to create a functional device with up to 4 wired controllers, and possibly even sell it as an independent upgrade.

The controllers are plugged in to a socket on the base station, so the controllers are replaceable independent of the base station, certainly. On top of that, both controllers share a single wire, along most of the length...

However, it's more likely the two controllers are wired independently to the plug. (I guess you could test this if you took a unit apart and did a continuity test on the wiring.)

If that's the case, then the physical connection for the extra two controllers simply doesn't exist. - And I assume wireless controllers are off the table for a similar reason.

It's a pity, but it seems like a hardware limitation.


As far as the config, I'm still waiting on an admin to approve my Sixense forum account. This thread seems like it has an image attachment of a hydra taken apart to show the innards. Can't view attachment until admins manually approve accounts. Fun, but not too practical to determine whether any sort of wireless is built into the current base station.

That being said, the fact that they've got the wireless HighPriorityBinding in the SDK and it was back in 2011 they were talking about a wireless Hydra in development, there might be something in the offing with the Rift coming into full swing.

As far as gloves and other companies for tracking and such, you've got a wide range, though none that really seemed compelling for a low price.

The Essential Reality P5 Glove is probably the most consumer rated with bend sensors for the fingers. Amazon still has some at ~60 usd.

The Peregrine is a pinch style glove with contacts at fingertips, no bend sensing. These are still in consumer range at ~150 usd.

Fakespace runs another pinch glove without any bend sensing, no idea on price.

CyberGlove Systems has some nice gloves with bend sensors and even haptics at fingertips and palm. Then again these go for 10-20k.

An interesting system I ran across while browsing today was the Polhemus G4 tracking system. Not practical for a consumer, but the configuration would be a nice addition to the VR if price and integration could be improved. Wear a power/hub on your belt, run sensors out on your extremities and track positions with a base station.

Personally I don't really care about how my fingers are bending in VR at this point, I'm more interested in the most controls at my fingertips for input like with the Hydra. Gross limb rotations I think are more important, especially when paired with something like the Omni.
Code Monkey