VR Accessories/Peripherals - All different kinds, anyone have additional suggestions?

MrHmYesQuiteMrHmYesQuite Posts: 26
edited October 2016 in Lounge
Now that I have the Omni preordered, plan on building a VR PC and buying a VR headset (probably Vive) in December, I'm left wondering what else?

1. Haptic Feedback
I've looked at the Woojer, The Buttkicker, Kor-FX, and SubPac. The nicest for vive/omni/mobility design seems to be the Subpac which has two versions, stationary and mobile. Any opinions on these or other options for haptic feedback systems?

2. Surround Sound
I've been putting off researching this off for a while. I own both an Astro headset with mixamp (virtual 7.1 with a button press) and the Creative X7 limited edition. The X7 comes with software and a slider for surround along with some kind of "Scout mode" that makes footsteps sound closer. My computer can send a Dolby Digital Signal, straight to the mixamp, or in my current case route it through the X7. I can then tweak different variations of surround sound, and figure out what will give me the best subjective surround sound experience. I've also been looking into getting a pair Philips Fidelio X2, as they are supposed to have very decent bass, and a wide sound stage. A wide sound stage itself can replace the need for surround sound as you still have the ability to pick up spatial cues, but I figured I might as well double dip, and experiment. Another product I've been looking at is the Wave Nx Supposedly you clip this on top of your headphones and it's able to track the position of your head to create accurate 3D positional sound with proprietary software, based on how you move your head. They haven't released the software yet for windows, but I'm keeping an eye on it. It might be redundant with surround capabilities I already have, and even more so if I get the Fidelio X2s. I'm also not quite sure how native headtracking in the Vive/and or Oculus, etc (VR headsets with native head tracking) relates to spatial 3D sound. It may make the Waves NX redundant, but I'm not sure. Anyone have insight into headtracking with spatial/3D sound?

3. Controls/Alternative Controls
For Vive it comes with the controllers, Oculus touch is just about out and, you could use an Xbox controller or any other convenient PC controller. What are other some other interesting control products. I saw some a video where someone uses the Leap Motion controller with it's optional VR headset mount, and replaces his Vive controllers with his hands via a mod. I know there is also NimbleVR but they were bought out by Oculus, and don't have a consumer product available at this time to compare. I know in terms of FPS games, a cabelas controller has been recommended. I know there are products like the Dexmo, which may become consumer and let you touch 3D objects, and CyberGlove which has a few variations on VR gloves, but seems more geared towards industrial/business usage. You also have things like the Manus VR gloves, which may serve as a sort of alternative for hand tracking. The positive with the leap motion, is you only reallly need your hands, versus wearing another peripheral. I'm not sure of the tracking range (perhaps with the manus you can move your hands behind your back and have it keep tracking) and intuitive control difference between the two.

4. Cameras - For fun.
I know there are pretty expensive fully 3D cameras out there, but I won't go itnto those right now. I'm looking for some applications to play with, and some might suggest just buying a kinect to experiment with. I know the Logitech C922 can remove background but I'm not sure the relevance of the technology it uses for VR applications. We're also seeing the release of Intel Realsense technology, which utilizes depth sensing cameras. The two currently on the market are the Razer Stargazer (as a side note Razer just bought THX) and the Creative Blasterx Senz3d. This tech might even be coming to the Vive at some point, allowing your to overlay you real hands in the VR world. This would seem to make the leap motion and nimblr vr redunant. It's like watching convergent and divergent evolution in the VR market.

A bit of ranting here and there, but what are some useful VR technology peripherals (and experimental VR tech for fun) that are easily available to consumers. I know I'll probably end up picking up a new pair of headphones. I may pick up the mobile version of the SubPac, and I'll very likely end up getting the Leap Motion.

Anyone feel free to add anything, or make some suggestions.


  • sutekiBsutekiB Posts: 1,069
    Some interesting links there @MrHmYesQuite! I felt sure one of them would take me to some New Balance trainers, but surprisingly they didn't!

    As to haptics, those vests may be good, but I'm personally excited for the OmniWear Arc, which I just backed on Kickstarter. I like how it works - you point your phone at the Map on your monitor using the included mount, and the app will transmit your enemies' locations to you via vibration in the Arc! So clever. I can just imagine playing CS:GO with this, and the Omni of course :)

    As for controllers, to me the ideal controller is a hybrid of the new Vive prototype, the Microsoft NormalTouch , and the Tactical Haptics Reactive Grip
    Community Manager at Virtuix
  • nosys70nosys70 Posts: 21
    edited October 2016
    for sure, there is a need for a gun, since most demonstrated games on the Omni are shooting games.
    that's really strange that virtuix build/mod a gun for their demo and do not finalize the idea by producing it to deliver one with each Omni.
    they should at least open source so people could replicate the device.
    Today , with 3Dprinting easily affordable there would be a way to build some SIG (special interest group, not the swiss gun factory) and leverage the ting.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    I am still looking foreword to www.strikervr.com comming out with something. there haptics look amazing.
  • GreyAcumenGreyAcumen Posts: 307
    edited October 2016
    Woojer - I have the same problem with almost every wearable tech I've seen for VR; A) non-modular wearable tech means friend of different body size can't try out the experience, B ) excessive amount of prep time needed to get into a game, C) tech will need to be washable, D) wearing certain clothing may interfere with experience, limited game application + limited adoption = limited game support development.
    Buttkicker - it basically vibrates your chair? Seems kinda silly. It does at least seem fairly modular and generally applicable to a variety of experiences.
    KorFX - Usual wearable tech issues, this does at least seem fairly modular, both in who can wear it, and also how it could read rumble activities from the game to translate them into rumbles along the body.
    Subpac - wearable tech issues, the rough concept seems to boil down to aiming a subwoofer into your back, still, I understand the point. It's the same effect you get when you have a loud deep sound; you can feel it reverberate in your own diaphragm/chest, and it's an experience that no headset alone could produce.

    I'd rather use my Bose Quiet Comfort headset when it comes to audio. 3D audio is great, but also blocking out miscelanious noise from real life is also important to game immersion. I just wish that my PS4 controller would let me use the audio port while using it with a PC. That would be one more cable that I wouldn't need to be tied down to.

    The Leap Motion controller is great. It's not perfect, and still limited on support, but it adds an amazing level of immersion, particularly for interacting with other VR players, as being able to naturally gesture and point allows for much less restricted communication. The only problem is that the camera can only see what is really close in front, so if your hands aren't in front of you FPS style, then it's as if they don't exist at all. If this could just be boosted up to a 360 camera, it could be almost as good as the vive controllers. The NimbleVR deal seemed to be aiming for pretty much the exact same thing.

    ALL the VRgloves just dredge up my same issues with wearable tech. I can barely find regular gloves that fit me without making the pinky finger too long or having the fingers too tight or too lose, or something.
    The Dexmo looks to have real potential though. I'd love if this concept was scaled up to something that included full arm resistance, (it could even clip into a harness like what comes with the Omni) and not just resistance to a single finger and thumb. This also needs a small pad that presses along the base of the fingers and into the palm to really allow a player to feel like they're holding something. At that point, you could just about simulate the feel of holding a controller, or even a gun in your hand which would allow for games to naturally switch between normal hand motions, gun controls, and steering controls (for a variety of vehicles) without needing to fumble around blindly for a bunch of different real life controls that you need to switch out manually. With the arm resistance, you could even simulate weights of objects when you pick them up.
    Personally, I'd like to see Steam push their steam controllers as a stop gap method for VR control. between the touchpads and motion gyros, it could give you fairly rudimentary control for use with VR games without needing to invest in an $800 system. I have the DK2, which wont work with the Oculus Touch coming out, so no matter which system I go for, I'm going to need to spend $800 if I want to get motion controls in my VR games.

    The cameras all look more useful for DEVELOPING (or marketing) VR tech, but don't seem to have much benefit to actually immersing yourself in it.

    The Omniwear Arc looks nicely universal for wear, but also like it needs to be directly against the body to be completely effective, and thus needs to come with a washable sleeve. The current method of using your phone to track the minimap is just complete nonsense though. Game integrated support is a must have, and is a deal breaker without.
    The tactile haptics reactive grip, and the strikervr guns both have the same issue of feeling too limited in scope. The strikervr is great for guns, but that basically means that ALL you're going to do in that game is shoot a gun. I was introduced to FPS via Half Life, so if the gameplay doesn't mix things up a bit more than that, I get bored. The THRGrip at least seems to be able to simulate a variety of pole based objects, but the controls that you can interact with while using that grip seem incredibly limited, similarly, if you were to put the "pole" down in the game, you'd have to still hold the THRGrip despite your in game hand being empty.
    It might be good enough for now, but I just don't see either of them being flexible enough for another product to come along later and do everything they do and more. They might be good for enthusiasts, but my budget means I have to treat VR as an investment. So unless I see long term sustainability, I just can't support a product.

    So basically, the Dexmo, or rather some future more encompassing version of the dexmo that doesn't yet exist, is my only real piece of VR tech that I'm really looking forward to.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    I agree with you on the wearable tech @GreyAcumen but dont agree with you about the controllers. With the example you used, Half Life, your using a gun 90% of the time. I would rather have a controller that perfectly fits the situation 90% of the time and is mediocre one for use with the crowbar 10% of the time, than have a controller that is mediocre 100% of the time.

    Or better yet have a holster system, perhaps something with magnets, so you can have a controller a controller for melee weapons and one for gun type weapons. This even brings in an added challenge of actually having to physically manage your gear.

    Speaking of melee, I actually very much dislike melee weapons or hand to hand combat in VR, like in Raw Data. There is zero feedback It is complacently unsatisfying. Even if the striker gun is half the force of the real gun its trying to emulate it will be a very satisfying thwack, actually from experience I would not want the thing to have the real force of a gun as it would be very jarring after awhile.

    As for the Dexmo or some other future awesome version. It looks interesting, very flexible, allowing you to "pick up" and "hold" just about anything, no mater the shape. However there are a few things that it just cant do and purpose built real life objects will still be far better. The first few can be seen in this image . His left arm is still just floating in space, his fingers might have a sensation of touching something but his arm does not. Also have you ever try aiming a gut with both Vive controllers? It does not work, it feels awkward and its next to impassible to actually aim. there is also zero haptic feedback, proper haptic feedback can be incredibly important. Lastly weight, its just not the same if there is no weight to what your picking up.
  • MrHmYesQuiteMrHmYesQuite Posts: 26
    edited October 2016
    xxann5 said:

    have a controller a controller for melee weapons and one for gun type weapons.

    This would be really cool, have a sort of tool belt of items, even just a melee and gun controller. A game that picks up player 1 and player 2 controllers, as such. Maybe if a game has up to four players, have up to four potential peripherals. Sort of like rockband or guitar hero, but instead of instruments you have weapons. Gun, club/knife/staff. Also I was just thinking with VR and a leap motion for example, you could do hand symbols combined with gestures to cast spells. Combine this with specific phrases, for example like Skyrim's shouts and voice recognition. And you could have a game where you start out as an apprentice wizard and slowly become a grandmaster wizard at the end of the game. Maybe the "melee" weapon is a staff, that can also be used for certain movements. The fantasy pack: A sword/club, a bow/slinghot, a staff/pike, and a knife.

    It would be like rockband or guitar hero, where the peripherals only really work on their games, and indie games.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    Well I believe that Yates said the current Vive can support up to 16 controllers but that that was just an artificially imposed limit. to get things going. From a techinal standpoint there is no real limit as to how many objects as set of base stations can track. So its basically at the discretion of the dev's and the accessory makers as to how many you want. Though that being said I would probably not want to fumble around with 16 tracked objects.

    But having some setup like Mass Effect. To hold a two handed rifle/shot gun over one of your shoulders and then say a handgun at the small of your back then maybe a knife shaped melee weapon on your chest? All held in place by nice strong magnets in such a way you can easily access the handles? just throwing out ideas, have not put much thought into this. With the Omni you could not really do a belt as the support ring gets in the way.

    I also think using your own voice, hands, or wand/staff movements to cast spells would be absolutely outstanding. You would actually get better at casting spells in the game by getting better at casting the spells in real life. The closer you are to the "perfect" cast would result in a more powerful spell. You could even implement some really cool things depending on how data driven and flexible you make the system. Say cast a fire ball spell by moving your wand in a specific way and then make it explode on impact adding splash damage by a spell cast by your voice? Or perhaps take that same fire spell with your wand but have it flow into a wind spell that creates a cyclone so instead of a fire ball you get cone of fire that is short range but a powerful AOE. O! or even say if you only do half the fire ball spell(or do it faster) before going into the cyclone spell and the AOE is larger but less powerful? That would be good for many small enemies. SO MANY IDEAS!!!
  • xxann5 said:

    As for the Dexmo or some other future awesome version. It looks interesting, very flexible, allowing you to "pick up" and "hold" just about anything, no mater the shape. However there are a few things that it just cant do and purpose built real life objects will still be far better. The first few can be seen in this image . His left arm is still just floating in space, his fingers might have a sensation of touching something but his arm does not. Also have you ever try aiming a gut with both Vive controllers? It does not work, it feels awkward and its next to impassible to actually aim. there is also zero haptic feedback, proper haptic feedback can be incredibly important. Lastly weight, its just not the same if there is no weight to what your picking up.

    I think you read my mention of a future version, but completely skipped over my point that the future version should incorporate a resistance along the entire ARM. Not only would this mean that the controllers would (in this hypothetical future version) pull down on the controller itself to simulate weight, but it could also make it so that pushing an object from one side could in turn push on your other hand (via the arm level pulls) so it could, if the software side of things handled everything right, give you the feel of actually holding a gun in BOTH HANDS.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    I did miss that part. hhmm.... Interesting idea, I would love for something like that to work. But I don't see it ever happening. Not with something you wear anyway. The resistance you would feel along the entire arm is a forces comes in two's the whole equal and opposite reaction business. There is no way around that. So if there is a force preventing my arm from moving in one direction a force needs to be applied in the opposite direction. (not trying to be patronizing I am sure you know this, just trying to make a complete point). So that force would be coming from the actuator/support beam along the arm which is then, presumably attached to some kind of harness you wear(so much for point B you made). When that force gets to that harness it will be tugging on your upper body in odd ways. Not only do I think that would be uncomfortable but I don't think it would even work with the forces needed to even provide half the force necessary to be convincing. I think that can work with your fingers because they are relatively small and the force needed to be convincing is small enough to be a concern.

    Same deal with pulling down to simulate weight. You will feel a force, most likely a torque in the direction of where this simulated weight is. There is no way around this, physics is a **** like that.

    I just don't see a wearable device to ever be able to work the way you want/think it will work.
  • The arm portion wouldn't necessarily be "worn" entirely, it would basically work like attaching a force feedback joystick to the bars that are on the side of the Omni Harness. Since the Omni also supports your weight, there might be some torque, but the omni (or whatever walking platform you are using) would take on part of that reactive force.
  • MrHmYesQuiteMrHmYesQuite Posts: 26
    edited October 2016
    I ended up finding a fallout version of the SubPPac on the Bethesda store. With their current sale and shipping I saved about 85 dollars off of the retail price of 350. They have the S version and the M version. I got the mobile version, should have it by tomorrow or Friday. I'll fill you in on how gimmicky or amazing it is,
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    O wow that is pretty cool, though at 240$ i would want to try it before i put down that kind of money.
  • MrHmYesQuiteMrHmYesQuite Posts: 26
    edited October 2016
    xxann5 said:

    O wow that is pretty cool, though at 240$ i would want to try it before i put down that kind of money.

    I get to try it for you, haha. Omni was practically an impulse buy when I realized I had the budget, and this thing is an impulse buy as well. I like the form factor for when I eventually get the Omni, but the sitting version would have made more sense for now. I'm trying to think forwards. I checked the tracking, I'm estimating tomorrow or Friday.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    Nice, let us know.
  • One city over, probably a 15 minute drive, won't get it till monday.
  • MrHmYesQuiteMrHmYesQuite Posts: 26
    edited October 2016
    I'll break it down like this.
    Astro A40s connect to my astro mixamp, astro mixamp connects to the X7, and lets me modulate audio. The subwoofer out port on the x7 is connected to the line in on the subpac. This doesn't seem to be necessary as I believe I had similar experience plugging the subpac into the astro and then plugging my headset in, but for the sake of audio I'd rather add one less processing step. The subpac does work, but it really shines, when I go into the X7 panel and activate bass redirection and subwoofer gain. Every vibration is now pretty accurate, be that in music or games. With this setting off it seems to be much more random rumbling, even when I turn the intensity all the way up. I was ready to be a bit disappointed, but with the additional subwoofer settings in the X7 console, it's pretty great. I've played overwatch so far, which is supported apparently, and after getting used to the haptic feedback it really is more immersive. On Farah as you use your rockets, as you jump or shoot, you can discern the differences. Everything is pretty accurate and spot on. I'd recommend the subpac, if you had a way to boost the subwoofer signal to the unit. I'm not sure how the bass redirection upped the accuracy, but it did. It could be that there's no extraneous "noise", and its a more pure bass signal. I can feel each individual section vibrating accurately, and matching the actions I take, or the actions around me. I think the subpac plus the Omni is going to be great, and I'm excited get to test it out in VR next month, once I get my VR headset and build my PC. I may entertain getting a Woojer for my chest in the future.
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