Medical app devs wait for motion controllers

Medical software development company Vedavi has its virtual reality anatomy app all set and ready to go for the Oculus Rift, but the lack of a controller with six degrees of freedom is holding it up.

The company also plans to port its VR Human Anatomy software to the Gear VR, but, again, the lack of a controller is the main obstacle, said Kateryna Ukrainets, director of marketing at Zurich-based Vedavi GmbH.

“With ‘VR Human Anatomy’ you can forget about those thick anatomy books,” she told Hypergrid Business. “You can easily look at the anatomical structures as you would in the real world. You just grab it with controllers and inspect it from whichever angle you want. Moreover, each structure is labeled so that you can memorize the names of anatomical structures quickly.”

However, in order to be able to grab the object with the controllers, their movements and orientation must be accurately tracked. That is what is meant by “six degrees of freedom.” Existing controllers for the Oculus Rift and the Gear VR don’t track motion. They have buttons, joysticks, or trackpads instead, which are not as effective when used in a three-dimensional virtual environment.

The Oculus Touch motion controller isn’t expected to be released until later on this year.

“But Oculus Touch is not going to be the one and only opportunity,” she added. “The software may be adapted to Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream.”

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