New Valve VR controller prototype supports grab and drop gestures

Valve has demonstrated a new VR controller that is designed completely different then the other controllers right now. It as attached to your arm with an outer ring covered with sensors that can detect your hand (and probably fingers) movement and can detect grabbing and dropping gestures. This wrist-mounted controller can really make a big difference in games and open up a whole new world of creative gameplay capabilities.

Dragging and dropping exists in many VR game nowadays, but the problem is that if you hold the controller, you can’t really mimic the grabbing movement with your hand because your hand is closed holding the controller - and all controllers work this way. The new prototype controller allows you to open your hand without the controller falling to the floor, which will trigger a dropping event in the game. When you close your hand and hold the controller again, this will trigger a hold event.

Just imagine how amazing it will be playing a game where you pick up snow, make a ball out of it and throw it on someone, or playing a disc throwing game where you can actually use the grab gesture to grab the disc and release it to throw it toward your opponent, like you do in real life? It would be much more immersive, because it mimics real-life physical motion behavior.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJlCXei5d7A

This is exactly the type of controller VR needs. The idea is to cover as many physical interactions as possible. Giving the controller finger tracking is also very important. I think that this controller does that. This can really be great even for social interactions, when the in-game avatar mimics the finger movement of your real fingers. I think it also nice that you can even relax your hands and just move the fingers from the controller for a few seconds.

Such cool controllers, I wish we have those on day one. This can really change what games are developed to the platform. I think that the Oculus touch can also detect the index finger and thumb movement, but that’s about it.

Now they come up with this idea? much better than the current version. I hope this one makes into production soon.

It will take some time until we see it in production if at all. But indeed, it’s a great idea that can help developers build games based on those gestures.