SteamVR Controllers and Lighthouse Technology
Valve recently held the Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle, where it showed a glimpse of its prototype controller that will work with the coming SteamVR platform and its new Lighthouse tracking technology.
Steam Dev Days Conference
Even though the peripheral remains a mystery and not much is known about it, Valve pointed out that users will be able to pick up and drop virtual objects without having to release the controller. Presumably, the device would attach to the wrist and won’t include the grip buttons that we have seen on the sides of the HTC Vive controllers.
It was a real shame that the press wasn’t allowed to be in the conference, but information leaked nevertheless thanks to attendees and their valuable contributions on Twitter which included pictures and some pieces of information. They reportedly had access to the controller along with a VR game called “Call of the Starseed.” The new steam controller seems to resemble the new Oculus Touch, but users can actually open their hands while playing. That would explain the wrist-shaped form.
Valve is preparing its Lighthouse Technology for 2017
Whenever we hear about some new fancy technology related to virtual reality we look at it as something complicated. The reason for this is because they really are complicated. No surprise there, but that shouldn’t stop us from understanding what are there for.
The very first day of the conference Valve gave the hint that its new Lighthouse base stations are going to be revealed next year. These base stations are the same ones that track the movements of the HTC Vive headset and the HTC controllers. The lighthouses will feature several LED lights that flash non-visible light (so you can’t see it) at a rate of 60 times per second and this light is captured by the sensors. The lighthouse base stations have lasers that can determine when and where the sensors were.
This technology was already being used by the HTC Vive, but Valve Software started to open-licensing its system to third-party developers. The point of this is for headset manufacturers to build their platforms using SteamVR without paying royalties for the license. This way, by removing licensing fees, Valve expects the lighthouse tracking system to be mass adopted by as many companies in the industry as it is possible.
What do you think about the new Steam controller and Lighthouse technology? Write it below in the comments.