A French startup 3dRudder is wrapping up the development of 3dRudder Wireless, a cordless version of its foot-powered VR controller, the company revealed earlier today. While speaking at the CES Unveiled media event, 3dRudder's representatives described their new product as an innovative way to embrace virtual reality gaming which should minimize fatigue as it allows players to control VR games while sitting. 3dRudder Wireless will retail for $199.99 and is expected to hit the market next summer, while all interested parties will be able to try it out at CES 2017 this week.
Just like its predecessor, 3dRudder Wireless is designed as a circular disc intended to be pressed with feet while playing VR games. It's equipped with sensors allowing it to detect various degrees of pressure and simple foot gestures, all of which can be used to move or rotate one's virtual avatar in any direction, regardless of whether they're walking, running, or driving. The French company created 3dRudder because it believed this solution is the most natural way to control virtual characters and consequently have a more immersive VR gaming experience. The current version of the product supports both Android and VR games as it's compatible with most contemporary VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Google Daydream, and the Gear VR. 3dRudder Wireless connects to these devices using Bluetooth 4.0 and ships with a rechargeable battery which should allow up to 12 hours of usage on a single charge.
3dRuddder Wireless currently supports games like Steep, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Minecraft, World of Tanks, and many other popular titles. The French company also revealed how numerous other industries are already looking at potential applications of this unconventional controller, adding how more information on that front is expected to follow soon. In the meantime, 3dRudder Wireless was picked as a CES 2017 Innovation Award Honoree in no less than two categories – Gaming and Accessible Tech. After raising $1.45 million in private funding last summer, the company opened a New York office and is currently developing new innovative VR hardware. Gamers interested in a cheaper variant of 3dRudder can also opt to purchase the original controller which retails for $179.99 and connects to a PC via a USB cable. However, that device isn't compatible with Android smartphones.