Sunday, February 5, 2023

Shiftall launches a high end SteamVR headset and an affordable body tracker for VTubers

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Shiftall is a Panasonic company dedicated to building equipment to plunge people deeper into their virtual worlds. That includes the Mutalk (pictured), a mouth-worn Bluetooth microphone designed to prevent your speech from being heard by people in the same room. Here at CES, however, the company has unveiled two new versions of its VR headset as well as some gadgets designed to improve your immersion in the virtual world.

First up, a new version of the MeganeX VR headset, a SteamVR-compatible unit with a 2,560 x 2,560 micro-OLED display. The company says that the screens, combined with Panasonic-branded pancake lenses, offer the “highest level of viewing experience.” In addition, the frame is lightweight, and offers six degrees of freedom, as well as enough comfort to ensure it can be worn without fatigue for hours at a time. But you’ll also need to cough up if you want to use one, since it’ll cost you $1,699 when it launches at some point between March and April.

In addition, the company is showing off two new accessories that’ll offer great benefits for the VTubers amongst you. The first is Haritora X Wireless, a full body tracking solution for SteamVR that enables you to have fully controllable torso and legs in a virtual space. The setup uses four bands, one around your chest, hips, knees and ankles, which give your digital avatar the ability to dance and high kick their way around. This is similar to Sony’s Mocopi motion-tracking setup which add bands to your wrists, ankles and back and head. 

Andrew Tarantola

The other new innovation is Flip VR, a hand controller for SteamVR which uses lighthouse tracking to monitor the position of your hands. But, unlike most normal hand controllers, these are held to the hand by a strap across the palm, rather than being gripped. The top plate, where you’ll find the joystick and action buttons, can be flipped out of the way to free your hand up for other things. In the demo, a user can stop playing, flip the joystick over to the other side of their hand and drink from a can without having to remove their VR gear, or put it down on the floor.

As for pricing, Haritoria X Wireless will set you back $350, although there’s no word yet on when it’ll be available either in Japan or Stateside. As for FlipVR, we’re waiting to hear back on how much it’ll cost, and when we can expect to be able to drink, while in character as a VTuber, without having to drop our controller and ruin the illusion.

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