Microsoft has been experimenting with augmented and virtual reality headsets for a while now but it looks like the company is now starting to turn its attention to coming up with new input methods. While companies like Vive and Oculus are focussing on creating controllers that bring natural hand presence into virtual spaces, Microsoft is going in a different direction with a wand controller.
This isn’t an officially announced product just yet, but Microsoft has filed a patent in the US detailing its augmented reality ‘wand’controller, which was spotted by WalkingCat on Twitter.
As you can see from the images, the controller is fairly simple. There are a couple of buttons, a trigger and a finger guard so you don’t accidentally whack your hand on something. The patent doesn’t really show us what this controller would be used for specifically, but I imagine it would operate like a standard motion controller.
The design shown in the patents is likely a reference for Microsoft to show its partners, who may also be planning to launch Augmented Reality headsets for Windows 10. If Microsoft can give them a decent input method design to build on, then it will make it easier for them to bring something to market.
KitGuru Says: For me, the Oculus Touch is currently the best controller for virtual reality stuff. However, Valve’s ‘knuckles’ controller prototype could end up surpassing it by tracking all fingers, which would make interaction within apps even easier. This wand controller may work for some basic uses but it would be a step back from controllers that provide more natural interaction.