The STEM system is a wireless series of motion controllers that work in three dimensions, similar to a much updated version of the PlayStation Move. The system was a Kickstarter success, raising over $600,000 out of a $250,000 goal, and the units are expected to be in backers' hands later this year.
Sixense has updated its Kickstarter page with information about the hardware's SDK, along with demos of what the hardware will be capable of in games when combined with the Oculus Rift.
"Our Shooting Gallery, which we created using the SixenseVR SDK, provides an example of common game interactions with a focus on full-simulation weapon mechanics. The STEM System allows you to wield a gun in each hand naturally, and to use either eye to look down the sight," the page stated.
"Additionally, we have added interactions for ejecting the magazine, picking up another magazine and inserting it into the gun, all done naturally with your hands. You can even inspect the magazine to see how many bullets are left before reloading it."
The applications for this sort of simulation don't stop at games that use guns. Imagine a firing range simulation that taught people proper gun handling techniques and etiquette without the use of live firearms. The moment in the video where the individual shows off the movement of the controller by pointing the gun at himself, for instance, should make any responsible sporting enthusiast uncomfortable.
The ability to simulate guns not just as one-button objects that shoot at human targets but complex mechanical objects with rules for their rules is a powerful tool.
That's reality though, the controllers also offer some fun things when it comes to fantasy. Such as the use of lightsabers.
"The lightsaber or sword is the true test for a one-to-one motion tracking system in VR, because it requires low latency, and almost perfect tracking of both position and orientation between your physical and your virtual self as you perform swipes, slashes, blocks and counters with the lightsaber," the page explained.
"The STEM System and the SixenseVR SDK make this experience possible, and also make it easy for developers to create these types of applications quickly. The experience is a fantasy, but it feels natural because of the near-perfect hand-eye coordination that the SixenseVR SDK provides."
Backers of the hardware will be given the access to the SDK, as well as the source code behind both of these demos. We'll have more coverage of the controller in action when the unit is released.