Microsoft makes its own motion controllers for VR

by Haadi Bakar
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Microsoft is really ambitious with pushing virtual and augmented reality (or mixed reality, as the company calls it) forward. The creator of Windows wants us to move away from the traditional desktop PC to wearing VR headsets when using a computer in the future.

The company is hard at work fine-tuning its HoloLens project and the Windows Mixed Reality platform, while at the same time pushing its PC partners to make affordable VR headsets for Windows 10, hoping to boost adoption before the turn of the decade.

More recently, Microsoft announced a new set of motion controllers to go with these VR headsets.

These new controllers allow users to manipulate artificial objects in a virtual environment in a more “natural” way (mainly involving arm gestures) instead of using a mouse and keyboard or an Xbox controller.

The controllers use sensors that are built-in to the VR headsets, also known as “inside-out tracking” – the headset does all the environment tracking so it can be set up anywhere without the need for markers.

The design of these controllers look very space age. Each controller has a ring with LEDs for tracking. Just below this ring is a panel with a round trackpad, analogue stick and menu button. There’s also a Windows button and and a side grip trigger.

These controllers should work for Microsoft’s upcoming HoloLens and the mid-ranged VR headsets designed by Acer, Lenovo, Dell and HP. Some of these headsets could come bundled with the controllers by the end of the year.

Microsoft isn’t the first to create motion controllers for VR. The HTC Vive uses a similar set up. You can try them out at the new VR Arcade at Hua Ho Manggis Mall in Berakas to get the gist of it.

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