Valve's New VR Controllers Can Track Individual Fingers

By Tom Pritchard on at

A lot of people say nice things about the Valve and HTC's Vive headset, but those wand-like controllers can't really compete with the Oculus Touch. Valve has now revealed new details about its 'Knuckles' controllers, and they're basically a more advanced version of what Oculus has on offer.

Back when I used the Oculus Touch I found it to be a lot more intuitive and natural than the Vive's wands, though the fact it only had two trigger buttons limited the immersion somewhat. Valve's Knuckles controllers, however, have buttons for all five of your digits, meaning you can actually grab and interact with virtual objects.

As you can see from the images, it still keeps the touch-sensitive pads from the original wands. The straps are also there to keep the controllers attached to your hand, so you don't end up dropping them as soon as you try and pick something up.

On top of that the controllers have multiple capacitive sensors that can track the position of individual fingers - even if they're not actually touching the appropriate buttons. Each one has a 500 mAh battery inside, that Valve says lasts for about three hours. Recharging is done with micro-USB, and supposedly takes a full hour to charge back to 100%.

It's safe to say that the Knuckles controllers are nothing like what we've seen already, and should make the VR experience a hell of a lot more immersive. We don't know when they're going to be released to the public (or how much they might cost), but they are already supported for Steam VR Beta users - with dev kits available directly from Valve. [Valve (1), (2) via Engadget]

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