Valve's new 'Knuckles' VR controller is capable of tracking individual fingers

Valve's new 'Knuckles' VR controller is capable of tracking individual fingers

Valve's new 'Knuckles' VR controller is capable of tracking individual fingers

In other words, you can either grip or fully let go, and your fingers are free to move and interact with objects in virtual reality. Now called Knuckles, on the surface these don't look much different from what I saw, but it has one very unique feature we were not privy to before: it tracks all 10 of your fingers.

Valve have unveiled new details of their forthcoming "Knuckles" controller, designed for Steam VR.

The index finger-based trigger button along with the trackpad and face buttons atop the controller are nothing new, but what separates Knuckles from similar controllers is that it will have capacitive sensors along its grip dictating where your middle, ring finger, and pinky are placed.

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Valve hasn't revealed when the public will be getting their hands on the finger-tracking Knuckles controllers, but in the meantime, we're excited to see what the developer community comes up with. Multiple capacitive sensors are strategically positioned on the central wand to detect the curl of your fingers and thumb. The controller is created to clamp onto the backside of your hand. At present, the Knuckles controllers are only compatible with the beta branch of Steam VR, which can be enabled from the Tools menu in the Steam client. Valve have stated that the commercial versions should not need this additional calibration.

While we'll obviously have to try the Knuckles controllers for ourselves before giving our impressions, the details here make it sound like a distinct step up from the current state-of-the-art in consumer virtual reality hand-tracking. So as you can imagine, this is a far more sophisticated controller than the existing efforts for the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headsets.

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