The Proof of Concept, Prototype, and future of Thimble
So far, SoundxVision has created a Proof of Concept (PoC) and Prototype of the thumb-mounted device and working toward the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The Prototype has shown to be a good improvement from the PoC in terms of size and gesture sensing. In the picture below, the SoundxVision's PoC is on the left and the current Prototype is on the right, spot the differences?
Proof of Concept
A thumb-mounted input device is a unique concept that needs to be proved viable before it comes to further developments. For this purpose, the first thumb-mounted controller was made to show how users gonna use it to interact with an AR system. In terms of size, it is already smaller than other kinds of controllers such as Oculus Touch, but this solution was not very neat and problematic in terms of ergonomics, the size does not fit on different hands and test users did not feel it comfortable to wear and it is lack of discoverability. Those issues are addressed on the Prototype, but some of the issues still exist. However, when it comes to gesture sensing, the PoC is shown to be viable and has the potential to be useful in XR systems, in addition to the PoC, an application has been implemented to use the PoC in Oculus Quest, even at this size the Oculus’s hand tracking system was able to detect the hands.
Oculus hand tracking and passthrough demo
In this prototype, some of the issues with the PoC have been addressed, such as the size of the device, which has been reduced significantly, furthermore, the housing is made from a more flexible material, thus fitting better on users’ thumb. There are still issues that we are working on in this version, for example, the algorithm is still being developed to smoothify the interactions, and the discoverability issue is also being addressed and probably will be solved in the MVP. In the next couple of weeks, we will release another demo on Oculus Quest to demonstrate the thumb controller as a creative tool.
Prototype with Grid UI
As far as the PoC and Prototype go, we are proud that they have worked as intended, but there is still a lot of work to do to make it an input solution that works seamlessly with current XR systems. For the MVP, we are taking it even further, this version is expected to be even smaller than the Prototype without the need for an external battery band and solve all the usability issues that existed in the PoC and prototype. The MVP will also comprise more advanced touch sensing components and algorithms, which help deliver more advanced gestures, and for the first time, the “sound” part in SoundxVision will take place. We are also working with Atelier, a hand-oriented creative workplace, which will be the first showcase of SoundxVision, where the thumb controller exposes its full potential as a creative tool, you can think of it as pens, brushes, pottery, or sculpturing tool kits.
We are excited to have the MVP and SDK released this summer and a commercial version is set for early next year.