Ever since modern virtual reality headsets became available, the has been a need for a more natural way to interact with the virtual worlds, rather than tapping on a keyboard or single controller. Of course the HTC Vive has it’s own motion controllers and Rift will have a some soon. The are also studios, such as Leap Motion, which can use hand gestures as input.
One studio, by the name of Remoria VR, was disappointed at the limited input that mobile VR headsets for smartphones allowed. If you’ve ever tried Powis VR or Google Cardboard, then you know there is only one button on the headset that allows you to interact with VR content.
With this, developers of mobile VR apps, had to figure out different ways for users to interact within the digital environment, such as head-tracking. Truth is, these techniques took away from the immersive nature of VR.
Remoria thought this was a no-go, which prompted them to develop their own motion controllers, that would be compatible with smartphones and maintain user’s ‘presence.’ These controllers are now known as ‘LIGNUM.’ As explained by the studio, “LIGNUM is a wireless Bluetooth LE controller with a set of sensors that allow motion and orientation tracking at extremely low latency.”
LIGNUM is compatible with Cordova, iOS and Android devices, as well as Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Embedded within the controller is a magnetometer, accelerometer and gyroscope, with inputs being 1 mini joystick, 3 buttons and a power switch. All of this comes down to a 50g controller that can work with Unity3D and UnrealEngine 4.
Honestly, this maybe one avenue for newcomers to gain a better feel for VR, if a controller designed for these immersive mobile apps was available. Remoria is currently allowing developers to try out their controller for free, so if you’re interested, go ahead and visit RemoriaVR.com. If you’re not a developer, but are interested in their developments, you can follow them via Twitter @RemoriaVR.
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