With CES just over a month away (January 5-8, 2017), a few intriguing products that are being shown are already starting to amaze.
One consumer product that is previewing ahead of CES is the Finch universal wireless controller for mobile virtual reality (VR) devices. A “no-camera” system for hands tracking, gesture recognition with an intuitive user interface, the Finch system allows users to interact with objects with gestures, control apps, browse the internet, and type text on a virtual keyboard.
Designed to allow control within virtual reality environments with nearly any device, from high-end computer-tethered head-mounted displays (HMDs) to smartphone-based VR, the Finch DK1 hardware consists of a lightweight wrist sensor with additional sensors on the fingertips and upper arm plus a mini-touchpad on the index finger to manage apps (make swipes, tap, click, and point actions) and move yourself in the virtual space.
The DK1 package from Finch is available for pre-order (direct link) and includes controllers for both hands/arms, Bluetooth modules, charging cables, and an extra set of different-sized rings.
At CES 2017, Finch is announcing the Shift system, a motion controller for mobile virtual reality allowing users to play games designed for Oculus and HTC Vive headsets on your mobile VR devices. Consisting of a single joystick and an upper-arm sensor with sensors that monitor hand positions without cameras or wires, the Shift transmits controller data via Bluetooth to mobile devices or PCs.
The consumer version of the Finch Shift is expected to be available in the second half of 2017 for only $49.
For developers, the Finch API will also include a converter for Daydream, Steam VR, and LeapMotion to encourage easy adaptation of Finch for existing applications. Original content creation with Finch’s Gesture Creation Tool should allow new immersive gaming opportunities and user interfaces with natural gestures.