The new Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers let you touch the virtual world

2 minute read

The surprise in the final Build keynote got everyone excited about Windows Mixed Reality and came in the form of motion controllers, allowing you to reach out and touch the virtual world. They follow the same rules as the Mixed Reality headsets scheduled for later this year, meaning that they have the new technology that will make them unique amongst VR-based motion controllers.

Six degrees of freedom (6DOF)

Windows Mixed Reality controllers won’t require independent sensors to interact with the virtual world. Rather, they will rely only on the same inside-out tracking system similar to the one used with the HoloLens. You’ll get the 6DOF motion control that comes with the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR.

The only thing that will be connected to your PC is the single cable from the headset. This works this way because of the sensor array in the headset. As long as the sensors and the cameras see the controllers, they’ll be positioned where your hands are in the real world.

According to Microsoft, the sensors will allow the controllers to be tracked slightly beyond the camera field of view. Existing VR games and apps could be ported to Windows Mixed Reality in the future if their developers will be interested.

Different designs from Microsoft’s partners

Microsoft’s partners are the ones who will be creating the design and shipping the new controllers. Acer has already announced their own devices and they are expected to be available in a bundle with the new Mixed Reality headsets later this year. They will be priced at $399, developers can already pre-order them, and they can expect the shipment this summer.

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