Video: How to become a virtual Jedi with STEMs

Luke Skywalker with Lightsaber

Sixense’s STEMs are looking like a must have Oculus Rift companion

Gamers looking for the ultimate virtual reality experience may well already have the Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni on their wishlist. Now Sixense have introduced some new tech which will allow you to wirelessly interact with a game using your body.

The STEM wireless motion tracking platform has been specifically designed for video games, and when used with an Oculus Rift headset will allow you to see and control in-game objects. For example STEM packs positioned on the arms will allow you to look down and see a virtual representation of your arms on the Oculus.

A powerful example of how this all works can be seen in the video below. In the clip you see the person wearing a Rift headset step forward to pick up two STEM packs which instantly bring up two arms in the game. A display of lightsaber skills ensues, (with the user at one point dual-wielding the iconic weapons) showing how gestures performed by the player can be translated into in-game actions.


Sixense have created the demo above to give an idea of what cam ne achieved with their STEMs in conjunction with Oculus Rift. In order to encourage further development, Sixense is making the system an open platform. An SDK is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux making it easy for developers to add STEM compatibility with their virtual reality games.

Gamers keen to get going with STEMs will need to order them separately from the Oculus Rift. Two, three and five tracker STEM packs are now up for pre-order priced respectively at $299.99, $389.99 and $579.99. STEM packs are currently due to start shipping in October.

With your Rift and STEM combo, getting that perfect virtual reality set-up is going to come at a price (even before you factor in a treadmill) but if we are to get a definitive VR lightsaber game (and hopefully many others like it) then it finally looks as though a viable and completely immersive VR experience is just around the corner.

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