Sixense, the motion control technology company whose scientific know-how powers the Razer Hydra, launched a Kickstarter earlier today to fund the final development stages of its STEM System – a modular motion-tracking solution for VR and other gaming applications. The fundraising campaign's goal of $250,000 has already been surpassed.
Consisting of up to five wireless tracking modules ("STEMs") and a base station for charging and orientation tracking, the STEM System is designed so that STEMs can either be inserted into peripherals, or slapped into "STEM Packs," which are then strapped to whatever part of your body the game is interested in tracking. The STEM System is also backwards compatible with all games that currently support the Razer Hydra.
The technology is apparently immune to "drift," as it "does not rely on inertial sensors (gyroscopes and accelerometers) for position tracking," according to the Kickstarter. Additionally, there's no line-of-sight requirement between the STEMs and their base unit.
Backers that pledge at a high-enough level ($199 and up, depending on how many STEMs you want) should expect to receive their own STEM System in July of 2014, though there's no indication that this is when retail units will hit shelves. In fact, Kickstarter proceeds are only being used to finish development and produce enough units for backers – retail models will enter mass production "later."
Our friends over at Engadget have already had a go with a STEM System prototype, so be sure and check out their video of the experience for an in-depth look at what the dealio, yo.
Sixense STEM System