For as immersive as Oculus Rift is, the fourth wall — the boundary between what’s virtual and what’s reality — breaks when the user is forced to use a game controller to interact in the virtual space. Now, one project called Nimble Sense seeks to add a level of immersion to virtual reality by allowing users to use their hands to navigate through and interact with virtual reality.
The Nimble Sense is a camera-based system from San Francisco-based startup Nimble VR with hand tracking technology, in some ways similar to the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox. It attaches to the top of the Oculus headset and has a 110-degree field of view. Nimble VR, the company backing the project, says it will also be compatible with PCs allowing the user to have a Minority Report style control over their apps.
“The power of virtual reality puts you into a different world, and now with Nimble Sense you can bring your hands with you” said Robert Wang, a Founder of Nimble VR, in a press release. “Anywhere you look you will be able to see and use your hands with a new generation of games and applications designed to let you naturally interact in virtual reality.”
“This degree of interactivity is essential for experiences like Ethereon where puzzles are the backbone of the game design and require an intricate level of interaction,” added Tony Davidson, developer of the VR game, Ethereon now on Kickstarter. “With only a few basic commands I’m able to define the interactions needed for a given puzzle by using the provided SDK – no other technology offers the ease of use or more natural form of interaction than the Nimble Sense – for both user and developer.”
The Nimble Sense camera system and a bracket for attaching to an Oculus Rift DK2 are now available on Kickstarter for $99 to early backers. Nimble VR is seeking $62,500 to make the device a commercial reality.