Tactical Haptics to Open Pre-orders for 'Reactive Grip' Dev Kits on May 29th

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Tactical Haptics, creators of the ‘Reactive Grip’ controller are due to begin taking dev kit pre-orders on May 29th. Targeting the enterprise and LBE sectors, the company expects pricing to start at $650 per controller, with a release date due in Q4. Since the initial introduction of the controllers years ago, the company has steadily improved performance and introduced a smart redesign that makes them highly modular.

Tactical Haptics has been part of the modern VR scene since day zero. We first saw the Reactive Grip tech—which uses sliding bars to provide unique ‘shear’ feedback—way back in 2013. Riding the early VR hype, the company sought to bring the controllers to early adopters through a Kickstarter campaign which fell short of its goal way back when. Since then the company has steadily improved the controller’s performance and manufacturability, and managed to impress us pretty much any time we got our hands on it thanks to its truly unique haptics.

The company has pivoted their approach to bring the Reactive Grip controllers to VR enterprise and LBE markets, and is now set to open pre-orders for the controllers on May 29th, with shipping expected in Q4 2019. Later this month, Tactical Haptics says it will show off the controllers with an integration of the VR LBE game Sweet Escape.

The latest version of the Reactive Grip controller has a smart design which makes it modular in two distinct ways.

First, the ‘Core Controller’ is a single design which can be adapted to various existing VR tracking systems using add-on brackets. For instance, the company offers brackets to attach a Vive Tracker or Oculus Touch, allowing the Reactive Grip controller to be tracked with the same system as whichever headset is in use (which cuts out a bunch of headaches that come with using two separate tracking systems). Tactical Haptics also plans to offer brackets for WMR and Rift S controllers.

(Left to right) Core Controller, Controller with Vive Tracker bracket, Controller with Oculus Touch bracket | Image courtesy Tactical Haptics

Second, ‘Multi-Pose’ magnets can be attached to the controllers as needed; these are special magnetic sockets which allow two controllers to be connected together on the fly to form various poses which can be dynamically incorporated into gameplay (for instance, changing from dual pistols to a two-handed weapon when connecting the controllers together).

Magnets can connect the controllers in novel ways for new functionality within games. | Image courtesy Tactical Haptics

Because of the modular design, developers planning to build for the controllers can configure them as needed for each individual experience, cutting down on weight and cost compared to if each controller came equipped with all possible options.

Tactical Haptics plans to ship the dev kit controllers with tech demos, an SDK, and plugins for Unity and Unreal, so that developers can integrate the controller’s unique haptics with their content.



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