[Florian] has been putting a lot of work into VR controllers that can be used without interfering with a regular mouse + keyboard combination, and his most recent work has opened the door to successfully emulating a Vive VR controller in Steam VR. He uses Arduino-based custom hardware on the hand, a Leap Motion controller, and fuses the data in software.
We’ve seen [Florian]’s work before in successfully combining a Leap Motion with additional hardware sensors. The idea is to compensate for the fact that the Leap Motion sensor is not very good at detecting some types of movement, such as tilting a fist towards or away from yourself — a movement similar to aiming a gun up or down. At the same time, an important goal is for any added hardware to leave fingers and hands free.
[Florian]’s DIY VR hand controls emulate the HTC Vive controllers in Valve’s Steam VR Tracking with a software chain that works with his custom hardware. His DIY controller doesn’t need to be actively held because by design it grips the hand, leaving fingers free to do other tasks like typing or gesturing.
Last time we saw [Florian]’s work, development was still heavy and there wasn’t any source code shared, but there’s now a git repository for the project with everything you’d need to join the fun. He adds that “I see a lot of people with Wii nunchucks looking to do this. With a few edits to my FreePIE script, they should be easily be able to enable whatever buttons/orientation data they want.”
We have DIY hardware emulating Vive controllers in software, and we’ve seen interfacing to the Vive’s Lighthouse hardware with DIY electronics. There’s a lot of hacking around going on in this area, and it’s exciting to see what comes next.