More and more additional hardware is being deveped currently for Oculus Rift headset by various third-party developers. Trinity VR is a startup which has developed Magnum motion controller. Its main purpose is to provide a really immersive first-person gaming experience. As Oculus Rift itself, Trinity VR organized a Kickstarter campaign for Magnum, which is now continuing gathering funds. The required sum is $60,000.
So what exactly is Magnum controller?
First of all, this device is developed specifically for virtual reality equipment. Its design is very ergonomic, enabling gamers simultaneously hold the device and perform other actions with VR equipment. The company created Trinity Magnum Development Kit, which is adopted specifically for Oculus Rift Development Kits 1 and 2. Besides, as it was already mentioned above, it provides a first-person experience for PCs. Julian Volyn, Trinity VR’s cofounder, commented on this: “What drove us to this solution, being early adopters of the Oculus Rift, was I was trying to play shooters like Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 in VR. I would have my hands on the mouse and keyboard, and I’d lose the concept of where all these keys were. It was very clumsy, and I kept knocking things over.”
Magnum provides two very convenient options: Mono Grip and Dual Grip. Mono Grip creates an impression of holding weapons such as swords, or guns, for which only one hand is needed. Similarly, Dual Grip provides an impression of holding something with both hands, like a steering wheel or a ball.
The device is simple and can be intuitively understood. It is equipped with four buttons, two joysticks and a trigger. Apart from connection to Oculus Rift, it can be used for PlayStaion Eye of Sony and Microsoft Kinect of Windows as well as the majority of webcameras.
There are already two games which demonstrate brilliantly the unique gaming experience, which Magnum controller provides. They include Zone (developed by PixelRouter) and Quail Hunt VR. This video shows how it all looks like in Zone:
The production of Magnum controller is organized by Cinder Solutions which also takes part in designing the second version of Magnum.
The differences between Magnum and other motion controllers are illustrated by the following table:
As an official page of Trinity VR on Kickstarter reads, the challenges for the company include:
“General Ergonomics and Button Layout. We’re still refining our prototype design in order to make sure it’s the most functional, visually appealing, comfortable and highest quality assembly for a diverse user base (hands of all sizes, lefties & righties, etc.).
Positional Tracking. To give developers the best possible tracking experience and utilize the best and most comprehensive camera options, we may change our tracking methodology before launch. However, the general way to interface with the Magnum through our API will not change, and none of those decisions will affect the claimed positional performance.”
Trinity VR was founded in January 2014 by three enthusiasts with the other one joining them several months later. This is what the company wrote about this on Kickstarter: “Prior to founding TrinityVR in January, Julian Volyn, Zach Lynn and Jeff Danis led RedCandy Games, a studio that developed cross-platform tools, technology and content for console and mobile devices. While at RedCandy Games, the founders led the development of Tic: Part 1, a Microsoft award-winning platform game for the Xbox 360. Based on the game’s success, RedCandy Games partnered with EA Chillingo, publishers of Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, for the release of Tin Man Can, a platform game for the iOS. Tin Man Can has had more than 350,000 downloads to date.”
“Joining the team in April, Rahat Ahmed has a background investing in technology and gaming at Prince Street Capital Management. This included traveling to parts of Asia to better understand the global tech supply chain. Most recently, he developed strategy for the long-term positioning of Delete Blood Cancer DKMS in the national and global bone marrow industry.”
It seems that virtual reality hardware is becoming a mainstream in technological research now. “In order for virtual reality to succeed, you need good input and great content. It’s hard to have great content if you haven’t standardized on input,” Julian Volyn comments.