The 3dRudder has got a lot of people talking. Not only was it given the title of Innovation Honoree at CES 2016, it’s also one of few controllers specifically designed for virtual reality gaming.
With the likes of the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive set to launch with their own controllers, which will each allow users to control games using their arm and hand movements, 3dRudder has instead opted to focus upon feet-based movement with its large disc-shaped design and built-in gyroscope sensor and accelerometer.
The 3dRudder essentially serves as a giant analog stick, except you rotate it using your feet instead of your thumb. After placing it on the floor, the user then sits on a chair and rests their feet upon it, with the controller then precisely relaying their movement to the game they’re playing. It sounds a little cumbersome on paper, but it works surprisingly well – leaning the controller forward causes the player-character to move in that direction, while twisting your feet on top of it causes your character to adjust their positioning accordingly.
The controller’s goal is to add an extra layer of immersion, and to that end it does its job quite well. Compatible with both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, the 3dRudder is intended to operate alongside a traditional control method such as a mouse and keyboard/Xbox 360 pad, though it can also be paired with the likes of an Oculus Touch controller in order to make your VR experience entirely motion-controlled.