Finch Technologies Interview: Bringing 6DoF Control to Everyone

Over the course of CES 2019 VRFocus saw some interesting and awesome technology for both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) use. One company demonstrating a rather unique controller system was Finch Technologies, with its FinchShift controllers and FinchTrackers. So naturally, VRFocus had to sit down with CEO and Co-founder of the company Gary Yamamoto to find out more.

The whole purpose of FinchShift is to bring six degrees-of-freedom control (6DoF) to a wide variety of platforms, not just VR. The system has been designed to allow pure 360-degree, room-scale freedom with just a pair of controllers and a pair of armband mounted FinchTrackers, whether you’re using a basic Samsung Gear VR or headset slightly more high tech like HTC Vive Focus.

In VRFocus’ hands-on preview from last week we wrote: “From what VRFocus saw of FinchShift and the FinchTrackers, it looks to be one of the best systems yet to provide out-of-the-box room-scale control for a wide variety of VR and non-VR systems.”

Yamamoto explains that thanks to a combination of the FinchShift hardware and software the company developed, its able to accurately model a person’s entire upper body, to track it real-time in VR, all from four data points. In the future Finch Technologies plans to release a skeletal model for the lower body, all users would need are additional Finch Trackers.

He goes on to explain the different use cases wireless 6DoF controllers are suitable for, mentioning, in particular, the healthcare space for training purposes. This is one of the reasons why the FinchShift controllers have those additional lights on them, allowing headsets with cameras to perform even finer calibrations when setting up, for such tasks as simulating surgery.

Currently, the FinchShift controllers aren’t quite ready for widespread consumer rollout. You can order them from the Finch Technologies website for $249 – which includes the two FinchShift controllers and two FinchTrackers – but they’re more geared towards developer at the moment as the system does come supplied with the software development kit (SDK).

Check out the full interview with Yamamoto below, and for further updates on FinchShift, keep reading VRFocus.

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