Etee SteamVR Controllers Share ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Gameplay and Q&A

Etee, the finger-tracking VR controller with SteamVR Monitoring, has almost reached its Kickstarter purpose with loads of time to spare. Although the controller is designed to be freed from buttons, sticks, and triggers (relying as an alternative on finger monitoring), its creators say it could adapt to current VR video games. TG0, the corporate behind Etee, has shared Half-Life: Alyx gameplay with the controllers and a Q&A which speaks to the selections underlying the controller’s design.

The Etee Kickstarter launched on April 1st, 2020, getting down to increase £45,900 (~$56,000) for Etee controller dev kits. The marketing campaign seems to be simply days away from reaching its purpose with almost 4 weeks to spare.

And whereas the controllers aren’t designed strictly for VR gaming, TG0 has marketed for that use-case (amongst others) and claims that they’re completely adaptable for the enter wants of current SteamVR video games.

Picture courtesy TG0

To display that the Etee controllers are as much as the duty, the corporate has printed two movies exhibiting Half-Life: Alyx performed with the controllers (be aware: that the corporate is utilizing Vive Trackers for now however the closing controller will embody a bespoke SteamVR Monitoring module constructed into the controller).

The excellent news is that Half-Life: Alyx and plenty of different video games can adapt to the controller with none particular modifications to the sport (due to Valve’s forward-looking SteamVR Enter system).

At a minimal the sport seems to be fully playable with the Etee controllers, although with out attempting it ourselves, it’s laborious to say how constantly gestures like grabbing, throwing, and taking pictures will carry out with none buttons or triggers. If TG0 creates a completely suitable driver for the SteamVR Enter system, it needs to be doable to tweak many of those parameters and dial in one thing that feels first rate (assuming the underlying hardware that tracks fingers is doing its job properly). At a minimal, we’re glad to see the corporate not shying away from exhibiting the gaming use-case of the Etee controllers in larger element.

Along with the Alyx footage, TG0 has additionally shared a self-Q&A with Highway to VR (under) which expounds on the design selections underlying the controller. TG0 has additionally dedicated to answering extra questions right here within the feedback, so be happy to drop a line under in case you have further questions.

TG0 co-founder Mick Lin | Picture courtesy TG0

Mick Lin, our super-creative interface product design specialist, initially hails from Taiwan. He started creating etee after co-founding TG0 again in 2016.

What kind of response have you ever seen to date to etee?

Persons are actually impressed, which feels nice after spending a lot time creating it. Most individuals are fascinated by how this tiny controller works – it’s one thing utterly new that folks haven’t seen earlier than. We’re having plenty of debate concerning the buttonless side. Some individuals like the thought. Some don’t. However we actually imagine we’re doing the fitting factor.

etee is your child. How did the thought first come about?

Initially, we didn’t got down to make a controller in any respect. It was throughout a brainstorming session on the makes use of of TG0’s know-how that we realised how properly our tech would work when mixed with a VR controller. The extra we mentioned the thought, the extra we knew it was one thing we simply needed to make.

What had been your key targets as you set out designing etee?

We needed the lightest and easiest design doable, one thing that was intuitive to make use of with a formidable finger sensing stage. As a result of we needed the controller to be fast and straightforward to placed on and take off, we steered away from fiddly glove designs. What we’ve ended up with is a controller that may be slipped on and off in seconds, and since it’s so small and lightweight, you possibly can even cease to reply the cellphone whereas sporting it.

Why did you resolve to not use buttons?

When you concentrate on it, buttons are fairly archaic and clunky know-how. With out button layouts to memorise, motion turns into intuitive and lots nearer to how it’s in actual life. As a substitute of cumbersome buttons, we made a controller that harnesses finger-sensing know-how. This results in a very completely different, superior expertise.

Capturing video games are rising in reputation within the VR/AR sphere. Can etee mimic a gun with no set off button?

It actually can – you simply transfer your index finger as you usually would to drag a set off. etee is definitely a game-changer on this space: due to superior stress sensing, you possibly can have weapons with varied set off sensitivities and step triggers, one thing that no different controller affords. Slightly than constructing the controller round a set off operate, we went for a human-centric design. In the event you focus closely on buttons, structure and hand place for taking pictures, then abruptly all the things is a taking pictures recreation. Because the previous saying goes, if you happen to solely have a hammer each drawback is a nail.

What number of variations of the design did you undergo?

There have been really greater than 40 iterations, every model honing completely different components of the design. Each stage introduced new challenges to work via: we improved all the things from the sign detection and wi-fi connection to etee’s means to detect completely different sizes of arms when it’s picked up. We experimented with completely different 3D kinds and textures, and took notes of various person’s expertise. We integrated all of that suggestions to make it possible for customers expertise actual freedom with their hand gestures.

How does TG0’s know-how set etee aside from different controllers?

We’re tactile management specialists, which implies we will convey one thing to the desk that few others can. The conductive materials we’ve used is fairly distinctive and offers etee a strong sensing system. The construction itself is pretty easy, but there’s no different controller prefer it. We needed the tip end result to be actually completely different, therefore etee’s ergonomic form and the cylindrical management floor, which signifies that individuals can work together with it intuitively.

Are you able to see etee getting used outdoors of VR?

Completely, I feel there may be scope for etee for use in all kinds of the way and we’ve designed it with that fluidity in thoughts. It really works properly as a joystick in gaming, for instance, in addition to for hacking different management units. I may see it getting used for company VR coaching functions too, in addition to makes use of in telecommunications and tele-presence. The probabilities for a controller like this are far-reaching.

What’s the subsequent step?

We need to take etee to the subsequent stage. To take action we’d like backers for our Kickstarter marketing campaign. Now we have began properly however each backer makes a distinction; please assist us if you happen to can.