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Sixense STEM (Razer Hydra Successor) Kickstarter - $500k funded

GuitarAtomik

Member
Jun 13, 2008
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UPDATE:

Kickstarter is up!

STEM System: The Best Way to Interact with Virtual Worlds


  • $250,000 goal
  • $199 for 2 tracker bundle
  • $249 for 3 tracker bundle
  • $349 for 3 tracker bundle
  • Limited Discount Early bird specials





No drift. Because Sixense technology does not rely on inertial sensors (gyroscopes and accelerometers) for position tracking, the measured position of each STEM will not drift over time, whether you move quickly, slowly, or not at all.

Low latency. Patented Sixense latency technology is used in the STEM System – giving it the lowest latency of any wireless consumer motion control system.

One-to-one tracking. This means that the STEM System tracks both position and orientation on all three axes for each STEM. These data are very easy for developers to incorporate into software applications via the Sixense SDK.

No line of sight required between STEMs and the Base.
You have the freedom to turn around, put the STEMs in your pockets or stand behind your couch – all without interrupting the tracking performance.

Add-ons

Our add-ons allow you to customize your pledge level for the STEM System project. Just increase the amount of your pledge to cover the total additional charges for the add-ons you want. We'll send you a survey after the project closes so you can tell us what you've chosen. Add-ons are available to any backer of any pledge that includes a STEM System, in any configuration ($149 and above). Please note that additional shipping and handling charges apply for international orders (outside the U.S.).

STEM: $39 each. Up to five STEMs are supported by a single Base. Each STEM can be used with STEM Controllers or controllers/peripherals of your own design, or with STEM Packs.

STEM Pack: $49 each. Each STEM Pack includes a built-in rechargeable battery and communications, a strap, and a clip. STEM is not included. Perfect if you want to use the STEMs that come with the Controllers.

STEM Controller: $59 each. Each Controller includes a built-in rechargeable battery & communications. STEM is not included. Perfect if you want to use the STEMs that come with the STEM Packs to play a game with a friend (like the Portal 2 MotionPack Co-op campaign).

STEM Base: $99 each. Add an additional Base.To extend the play zone range you can add up to two more Bases. STEMs, STEM Controllers or STEM Packs are not included.


------------------------


http://sixense.com/wireless
Sixense, a pioneer in motion tracking hardware and software, announced today that it will launch the Kickstarter project for its new wireless motion tracking platform, the STEM System, on September 12, 2013 at 7:00 AM PDT. The STEM System will provide the most natural and intuitive interface possible for gaming, virtual reality (VR), and other applications by precisely capturing the user’s every move, both at the desktop and throughout the living room.
The STEM System platform is an evolutionary step in Sixense motion tracking technology, which has previously powered the Razer Hydra PC gaming controller, the input device of choice for developers of VR applications. Advancements for the STEM System platform include much longer range, a wireless, modular form factor, and better tracking performance at all ranges. The STEM System platform will support up to five wireless motion tracking modules, or STEMs, for full position and orientation tracking of the entire body or other configurations.
In order to facilitate a robust developer community, the STEM System is designed as an open platform for creators of both software and hardware products. Developers will be free to create content with virtually no restrictions, and to embed STEMs for tracking of their own peripheral or wearable devices, such as swords or head-mounted displays. The second-generation Sixense SDK for the STEM System platform takes advantage of the new platform’s capabilities, and provides backwards compatibility with products and games powered by earlier generations of Sixense motion tracking technology, including the Razer Hydra.






Prototype Video w/ Head Tracking
Prototype Video w/ Hand+Foot Tracking

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Very curious how this turns out. I think the head tracking is a little redundant considering the consumer model OR will probably have it but you could probably do some interesting stuff with the rest of it. That is as long as adoption takes off. If nothing else, it will probably be an improved/wireless version of the Hydra which is pretty cool in of itself.

Apparently they were at PAX with the prototype. Anyone get hands on with it?
 

syko de4d

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Nov 5, 2010
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This could be the best Motion Controller for VR. Wireless, never lose line of sight with the Station and the extra wireless sensors you can just use for everything.
 

GeoGonzo

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Jun 20, 2010
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650
I already have a Razer Hydra but will almost certainly back this thing. Looking forward to it!
 

Harpuea

Member
Jul 9, 2013
381
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Wireless is definitely needed for Oculus Rift.

The best utilization of Oculus Rift with Razer hydra I saw is Cover Shooter.

The wires gets in the way. Without wires, it would definitely be better. There is still the issue of the wires on the Oculus Rift itself though.
 

Orayn

Member
Jul 4, 2010
34,289
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Smart that they're including more positional clip-on sensors than just the one for head tracking, since that'll be included in the consumer version.

Maybe the extra one could go on your belt; seems like there could be some utility to tracking your center of mass if your head, hands, and feet were already covered.
 

syko de4d

Member
Nov 5, 2010
4,007
0
565
Germany
Smart that they're including more positional clip-on sensors than just the one for head tracking, since that'll be included in the consumer version.

Maybe the extra one could go on your belt; seems like there could be some utility to tracking your center of mass if your head, hands, and feet were already covered.

i think one extra sensors on each elbow/Arm could really help for better Arm motions. You cant get the whole arm motion just buy the position of the Hand.

Head with Oculus, each hand with controllers, each elbow and belt with sensors, with this you could get nice motions but which dev. will make use of it? ^^
 

jet1911

Member
Feb 23, 2005
14,913
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Wireless is definitely needed for Oculus Rift.

The best utilization of Oculus Rift with Razer hydra I saw is Cover Shooter.

The wires gets in the way. Without wires, it would definitely be better. There is still the issue of the wires on the Oculus Rift itself though.

This is insanely cool. Wow. It's like the VRcade thing but without the need for a giant room.
 

GuitarAtomik

Member
Jun 13, 2008
18,048
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Smart that they're including more positional clip-on sensors than just the one for head tracking, since that'll be included in the consumer version.

Maybe the extra one could go on your belt; seems like there could be some utility to tracking your center of mass if your head, hands, and feet were already covered.
i think one extra sensors on each elbow/Arm could really help for better Arm motions. You cant get the whole arm motion just buy the position of the Hand.

Head with Oculus, each hand with controllers, each elbow and belt with sensors, with this you could get nice motions but which dev. will make use of it? ^^
Yeah, it seems like you could put the sensors anywhere really as long as you program for it. I don't see why you couldn't at least. It looks like even the controller sensors can be removed if you wanted.
 

Fasty

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Jul 13, 2013
794
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Melbourne, Australia
Yeah I have a Razr Hydra too. Sixense support for it was pretty bad in the end, after being promised DOTA, Half Life 2 and CS:GO (or was it Source?) support. I think we only ended up getting Portal 2. Probably Valve's fault too I guess.
 

GuitarAtomik

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Jun 13, 2008
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Ok. OP updated. Up to $130k in the 5 minutes it took to do that. It's definitely going to make it's goal and then some with the next hour or two.
 

Bit-Bit

Member
Jul 24, 2006
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Since this device is supposed to go with VR, they really should have went with buttons that feel different, ala Gamecube buttons.

One big round A, one small round B, Two peanut shape Y and X turned differently.
 

bee

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Apr 13, 2005
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which one should i be going for, for use with the rift? the $299 option seems like the one to me, just wanna make sure
 

Orayn

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Jul 4, 2010
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which one should i be going for, for use with the rift? the $299 option seems like the one to me, just wanna make sure

2 trackers if you just want to use it like the Hydra, 3 to take advantage of head tracking before the new devkit or consumer model. 5 is probably overkill unless you're developing something ambitious.
 

GuitarAtomik

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Jun 13, 2008
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which one should i be going for, for use with the rift? the $299 option seems like the one to me, just wanna make sure

All of them would work with the Rift it just depends on how much functionality you want. It's not worded or explained really well and I had to read it a few times to fully understand but the 2 tracker system is basically a next gen Razer Hydra and gets you the two motion controllers. I would venture to guess you won't need more than that for 90% of the games that support this but you never know.

EDIT:
Yeah, the 3 tracker system is actually the better get if you plan on getting the dev OR.
 

morningbus

Serious Sam is a wicked gahbidge series for chowdaheads.
Sep 16, 2007
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I'm definitely interested, especially because of the split controller aspect to the design, but I can't justify the price to myself at this point.

Best of luck to them, though.
 

ColonelSkills

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Aug 2, 2007
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which one should i be going for, for use with the rift? the $299 option seems like the one to me, just wanna make sure

I went for the controllers plus single stem pack unit.

I imagine a lot of games with rift support will support head tracking, which the single unit will provide before the consumer model thing.

I am not sure how many will support hand/feet/5 points of tracking.
 

mrklaw

MrArseFace
Jun 10, 2004
59,895
2
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Windsor, UK
nearly made its goal already - probably get there tomorrow.

Can't wait, although I'm not that keen on the main controllers. I love the little ones though

edit: expensive though. didn't realise the intial level is just two stems.

Three would be the one to go for with a rift - two for your hands and one on your head. Possibly later on you'd want one on your waist for better crouch detection but that is probably overkill at the moment.
 

Orayn

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Jul 4, 2010
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I went for the controllers plus single stem pack unit.

I imagine a lot of games with rift support will support head tracking, which the single unit will provide before the consumer model thing.

I am not sure how many will support hand/feet/5 points of tracking.

I think the extra trackers might work better if placed on your shirt sleeves above the elbows, since that would give you a whole virtual arm where you could easily simulate all the joints.
 

bee

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Apr 13, 2005
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thanks for the replies, i already have a rift, it seems then like the $149 is basically the new razer hydra and the $199 has an additional pack for head tracking which would be useful with the dev kit but if the consumer rift has this built in, it'll be kinda useless?

gonna be 40mins till i get home from work, hope they don't sell all the early bird units
 

GuitarAtomik

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Jun 13, 2008
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thanks for the replies, i already have a rift, it seems then like the $149 is basically the new razer hydra and the $199 has an additional pack for head tracking which would be useful with the dev kit but if the consumer rift has this built in, it'll be kinda useless?

gonna be 40mins till i get home from work, hope they don't sell all the early bird units
More or less. Those are the early bird prices though (add $50 to each if you miss that). I wouldn't consider the 3rd tracker useless though since they're meant to be modular and can work anywhere on the body. Based on the way they're doing add ons, it seems like they'll sell them separately later so if you need like one more to use with both arms or something I doubt it will be a problem.
 

ColonelSkills

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Aug 2, 2007
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I think the extra trackers might work better if placed on your shirt sleeves above the elbows, since that would give you a whole virtual arm where you could easily simulate all the joints.

Now THERE'S an idea.

Someone hack in support for Trespasser now.
 

ghst

thanks for the laugh
May 9, 2006
15,206
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this is actually kinda ingenious way of attempting to assert themselves as a standard.

instead of just selling the controller as a be-all solution to motion tracking, they're including the actual motion unit as a modular part. should it take off, this would encourage other peripheral manufacturers to simply facilitate this technology in their controllers rather than attempt to create a competing standard. sorta like xinput.
 

Keyouta

Junior Member
Jul 10, 2009
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I wish Nintendo would have continued with motion tech and split controllers, like this, instead of what the Wii U is using.
 

morningbus

Serious Sam is a wicked gahbidge series for chowdaheads.
Sep 16, 2007
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I kind of want to back it just because, but I'm not even sure I'd want the thing.

I'm generally supportive of the project too, but:

1) This is a developers version and isn't really meant as a retail consumer product yet.
2) They'll clear their goal within the next hour or so, so there is no risk of failure.
 

bee

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Apr 13, 2005
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managed to get an early bird one but i cheaped out and went for the two tracker for $149 (£94) as it does seem like they will sell the stem packs separately later so I can get some down the line if needed
 

ab.aeterno

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Jun 1, 2013
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Early Bird 5 tracker. Debating if it's overkill and if I should do 3 instead, but the additional two STEMs and STEM Packs would cost 180 to add on.
 

Azure Dream

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Oct 30, 2004
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Crap that went fast. I just remembered this KickStarter started. Only 5 of the 5 stem Early Birds were all the Early Birds left. I refreshed, and even those were gone.
 

Cartman86

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This branch of PC gaming will effectively be my "next gen PC". PS4 and Xbox One are going to cost me over $900. I'm gonna have no problem with buying one of these and the Rift when they officially release. Really exciting. That being said I know i'm going to begin going down the rabbit hole of buying racing wheels and flight sticks at some point too :)