Virtual Reality

KupVR offers low-budget glove-free finger tracking

KupVR offers low-budget glove-...
KupVR is currently on Kickstarter
KupVR is currently on Kickstarter
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The two Kup-Controllers and the Kup-Belt are each powered by two AAA batteries
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The two Kup-Controllers and the Kup-Belt are each powered by two AAA batteries
KupVR is currently on Kickstarter
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KupVR is currently on Kickstarter

Although there are already mobile VR systems that track what each of a user's fingers are doing, they typically take the form of expensive gloves. KupVR is designed to be a low-cost alternative, as it leaves the user's fingers open and free.

There are three main parts to the KupVR system: two Kup-Controllers that are mounted across the palm of each hand, and a Kup-Belt that's worn at the waist.

Infrared sensors in the Kup-Controllers continuously track the positions of all of the fingers on each hand, while an integrated IMU (inertial measurement unit) notes the rotation of each hand. The Kup-Belt, meanwhile, tracks the orientation of the body, along with the location of each hand relative to it. There are also haptic actuators in the Controllers and Belt, which buzz users according to what's happening within the game.

The three devices wirelessly communicate with one another, and with a third-party mobile VR headset, via Bluetooth LE.

The two Kup-Controllers and the Kup-Belt are each powered by two AAA batteries
The two Kup-Controllers and the Kup-Belt are each powered by two AAA batteries

According to its designers, the system is compatible with platforms such as SteamVR, Android and Unity 3D. And while four games have already been created to demonstrate the technology, the system is open-source, with the intention that third-party developers create other games for it.

Should you be interested, KupVR is presently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$89 will get you a setup – the planned retail price is $119.

Sources: Kickstarter, KupVR

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