The SteamVR Knuckles controllers being developed for HTC Vive want to offer way more than just motion tracking; these controllers can track your fingers without you having to worry about dropping them. Denny Unger of Cloudhead Games demoed the prototype controllers in a recent video, showing off what the experience promises.
Unlike the Oculus Touch controllers, the Knuckles controllers have sensors for all five fingers and wrap around your hands. Remove a finger from the sensors to point, or curve your thumb in on the trackpad to make a fist. Because of their design, if you let go of the controllers entirely, and they’re going to stay in your palms. This means you’ll have more room to use your hands intuitively in VR games without having to worry about dropping your controllers.
These aren’t traditional face controllers in any sense. The Knuckles controllers feature a pair of face buttons to go along with a System button; the rest is touch sensitive. The dev kit guide shows that the thumb rests in a deep well-like trackpad at the top of the controller, followed by the index finger on a trigger behind it. The other three fingers rest on the base of the controller. The controller is secured to the hand with an adjustable strap.
The SteamVR Knuckles were announced at last year’s Steam Dev Days; an official release window has not been announced.