You won’t probably need a mouse or trackpad to move the cursor around when you get your hands on the latest tech from Vicara: Kai gesture controller. Yes, you read that right, no more tedious task to move your fingers over the trackpad or drag that mouse from one corner to the other. You can just sit and perform gestures and the cursor shall move accordingly.
The company behind Kai, Vicara, is a team of 6 people whose aim is to bring out a controller to fulfill the needs of virtual reality as well as cater to common computing needs. So came the Kai. It is true that it is not the first time that someone has tried to bring out Gesture-Based controls. Controlling things by just a wave of hand or finger movements is, without doubt, something which can get a lot of attention. Therefore, people have tried to delve into this, with some success. Most notable is the Microsoft Kinect, which didn’t quite see much light. Perhaps, it was too early for its time.
But now, with advancing technology, there is a dire need for gesture controls, as people have adopted to gestures with their smartphones too. Furthermore, the time when Xbox Kinect and Leap Motion Controller were released, the world was still PC based. Now that AR and VR have revolutionized things, it was due time that something came out to aid these technologies. This is because, through gesture controllers, things can be done more accurately than before.
According to Adarsh Warrior, who happens to be one of the two co-founders of the Vicara company, “Vive, Oculus, and so on all have controllers you have to hold. Our system allows for a hands-free experience. The market for VR hasn’t really picked up in India yet, but while we can’t replace a mouse and keyboard, we can augment them.”
What Kai offers is pretty simple: Just wear it on the palm of your hand and you are good to go. Unlike the Leap Motion Controller, you don’t need to keep your hand held up nearly all the time. Therefore, you can be as normal as you normally are, and you won’t feel any tiredness.
Kai employs finger tracking without using cameras. Now how do they track motion then? It is quite simple, there are optical sensors on the device itself and a beam of light gets emitted which effectively models the palm of your hand. The Kai has 9 degrees of freedom hand tracking plus finger tracking.
Therefore, the Kai isn’t just meant for VR and AR purposes, but essentially also serves as a replacement for your mouse. Though with a PC, you would need to attach a separate Dongle and install an application on your computer, which will aid converting the gestures to suitable PC commands. You can also customize the gestures to perform specific tasks you want them to do, giving you complete freedom.
Saunak Sahoo who is a member of Warrior’s team added that “Vicara is a human augmentation company, we aim to redefine human-computer interaction”. He further stated that “It has a variety of gestures you can perform, so you can use it to do CAD modeling, for example. It’s a more intuitive way to interact with your computer, but it can also work with drones or any other devices that are Bluetooth-powered.”
As for the pricing, well it might sound a tad bit too much, but between $100 and $129,not only can you supplement your AR and VR needs but also get a way to make your life easier.