Sixense Aims to Bring Immersive VR to the Masses with Its STEM System
January 14, 2014 10:03 AM
Sixense's STEM System allows for nearly complete character control in VR
I saw a lot of impressive demos at CES last week, but one of the most impressive came from the folks at Sixense. I’ve played around with virtual reality (VR) systems before, but never something quite like this.
The demo that I used featured an Oculus Rift helmet in conjunction with
Sixense’s STEM System
. The STEM System features a pair of unorthodox controllers -- one for each hand -- along with three additional sensors that can track body movement. Using the controllers in conjunction with a VR helmet, I was fully immersed into the virtual world of
While I still had to move my character’s body forward/back, and left/right with the left STEM Controller, I had full control of my head to look around in the virtual world. The two STEM Controllers also allowed me to toss in-game objectsm interface with the environment, and “see” my arms as I moved them around in real-time in the virtual world. I could also look straight down and see my virtual feet (along with the simulated “cleavage” of the my in-game character which was partially blocking my view).
I was only able to use two of the STEM System’s five sensors: the two STEM Controllers. However, three other sensors can be used to allow near-full body tracking by placing one on your chest and one on each foot as seen in this demo footage:
Most games should work with the STEM System, but Valve has made available 14 Sixense-designed levels for
that showcase what the system is capable of.
In addition to the STEM System hardware, Sixsense also demoed
(although we didn’t personally get to test out this software package). MakeVR allows you to create and manipulate 3D objects in software using the STEM Controllers:
Objects are exported in .STL format and you can either have your creations printed from an online marketplace, or from the comfort of your home/business using your own 3D printer. Once such creation as this turtle that was designed using the MakeVR software.
Sixense's STEM System is expected to ship this July.
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