Virtual Reality headsets that plug into your computer are without any doubt superior to mobile versions. This is not a matter of taste, but simple fact. Better processing power, better memory, tethered VR headset just blow their mobile competitors out the water. In particular, VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive have the advantage of having controllers. Mobile VR often is hamstrung by the lack of proper controller support. However, Remoria VR is trying to develop a solution that can at least solve this problem.
Remoria VR and the Lignum
Remoria VR is a startup located in Italy, founded by Marco De Falco and Matteo Pisani. Their product, the Lignum, is a Bluetooth motion controller designed to work for Android and iOS VR experiences. However, it also promises to be compatible with Windows operating systems. Not a great deal is known about the company, which has been around for about six months. De Falco has previous experience in a furniture leasing startup and Pisani is the CTO of an IT services provider. No previous experience in gaming is apparent, but they are promising a great deal with the controllers.
Specs wise, the controllers are quite impressive for something designed specifically for mobiles. Each comes with an analog stick and three buttons, as well as an on/off switch. Furthermore, each functions as a 3-axis motion controller with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. Connectivity is provided by a Bluetooth LE 4.1 connection, which Remoria VR states as having a latency of less than 10ms. This is very impressive, especially as the press kit promises that upon release this should be halved. Remoria also promises millimeter accuracy and 15 hours of battery life.
Thoughts and availability
Does this product work? It is impossible to tell, as it is still in its beta phase. SDKs are freely available for companies to order and work with. Remoria also says that the controllers should work seamlessly with iOS, not requiring third party apps to help. So far these are just promises, but this could potentially be a major game changer in mobile VR gaming. There is no release date, so whether or not users can get their hands on this device soon is uncertain. Should VR app developers take a shine to its potential, however, don’t be surprised to see these in shops in the near future.