Nimble Sense brings your hands into VR without gloves

The proliferation of virtual reality headsets, especially consumer-friendly ones, has given rise to the next logical interest in VR development: our hands. After all, the VR illusion is broken when you have to resort to game controllers or even tapping to do some actions. Thus, many are now trying to add our hands into the equation, letting us control and manipulate the VR world as naturally as we see it. Nimble Sense is just one of the latest to attempt that, but it isn't using any gloves to do so.

Once you read about the technology behind the Nimble Sense, it all makes, well, sense. It uses an infrared laser and camera duo to capture a 3D point cloud of the real world in a wide 110-degree angle, pretty much the same line of thinking behind the Microsoft Kinect. Of course, you wouldn't want to wear a Kinect on your head, so Nimble VR, the aptly named group behind this Kickstarter project, has shrunk it down so that it could actually be mounted on top of a VR headset, in particular an Oculus Rift. In theory, you can use it on other head-mounted displays. Heck, in theory you can even use it on a desktop for other purposes.

But hardware is only half the story and what Nimble VR is also bragging about is its software, a skeletal hand tracking system that delivers low-latency and high-accuracy, just the two words you'd want to hear when it comes to VR and interactive content, like games. Naturally, Nimble Sense comes with an API that developers can hook into to create games, virtual reality worlds, or even hand-controlled applications. The software itself isn't open source but the examples provided by Nimble VR are, just to help jumpstart developers' creative juices.

"VR Hands" experiments are usually separated into two camps: those with gloves and those without. Nimble Sense obviously falls in one camp. But while it can boast of the convenience of not having awkward and sometimes uncomfortable gloves, it does lose out on some aspects, like the tactile feedback that contraptions like Dexmo offers. For now, it's a necessary trade off that we'll just have to accept given the level of technology and materials we currently posses.

One other thing that Nimble Sense prides itself in is in price. Of course, being just a bar plus a USB cable and a headset mount, it's not surprising that it would only be asking for $99 at the very least. "Asking", you ask? Yes, Nimble Sense is, unfortunately, still one of the many Kickstarter campaigns vying for your attention and your money. That said, it has managed to surpass its $65,000 goal with 39 days to spare, proving that it has believers willing to put their money to work for their beliefs. Whether it will be able to deliver the finished producct, and on time, is a completely different story.

SOURCE: Kickstarter