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Valve Updates Knuckles VR Controller to EV2

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#1 Guest_Jim_*



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Posted 22 June 2018 - 05:13 PM

It is hard to say how much VR may have caught on for PC gaming, but that is not stopping people from developing for it, both software and hardware. Valve recently revealed updates to its Knuckles VR controller, which allows for finger-tracking in games. The improvements for this EV2 version include a more ergonomic design, better strap, new sensors, new buttons, and better battery life a alongside USB-C charging port.

The new buttons in this case include the addition of a thumbstick and a track button. This track button is like a small trackpad with a groove your thumb can easily fit in. Being a trackpad, the Y position of your thumb can be detected, and so can the X position. It technically is not a button though, despite the name, as it uses a force sensor, allowing for analog input like an analog trigger on traditional controllers. This is not the only location for a new force sensor as the grip section that can track the positions of your fingers also has a force sensor beneath. Developers can use this for full analog input, as a digital or binary button based on a set force threshold (with haptic feedback to mimic a mechanical button), combine these two approaches with a multistep configuration, or disable the force sensor. Combined with capacitive sensors, games that can use these inputs can more accurately recreate your actions.

The addition of a thumbstick follows from a lot of feedback calling for this traditional form of input. One reason behind this is the return-to-center force feedback such a stick offers that other input methods might not. The strap for the controller has been changed to better accommodate hands of different sizes and is made from an easy-to-clean anti-microbial material.

Along with the new controllers, Valve has also released the Moondust Demo that shows different possibilities with Knuckles EV2. It is also possible they will work out of the box with current VR games, but some may require tweaking and an update to SteamVR Input.



Source: Valve

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