Rink: Samsung’s New Motion Controller for GearVR
Samsung Electronics’ Creative Lab (C-Lab), the “think-tank”, so to speak, of the company has long been attributed to some of the company’s most brilliant ideas, including IoFIT, a digitized insole which is designed to help correct its user’s posture and stride, and Jamit, a small sensor-filled device that helps a violinist, or a would-be violinist, learn more about his or her performance so they could improve in the future.
A day before New Year’s Eve, Samsung has announced 3 new projects from its C-Lab that include WELT, a “smartbelt” that can discretely monitor your health; as well as TipTalk, an incredible technology that utilizes the sound vibrations to transmit your phone calls directly to your ear by placing a finger at your ear. The last (yet not least) project announced is a motion controller that GearVR users have been eagerly waiting for quite some time and it is called “Rink”.
With Rink, users of GearVR will be able to have a more intuitive and flexible way to interact with any digitally-rendered virtual reality environment. As opposed to Samsung’s Bluetooth gamepad (or any Bluetooth gamepads for that matter), Rink is designed in such a way that it will not feel like you’re merely using on a console.
Instead, the controller will feel a lot like a pair of bracelets that are worn across your palms. In fact, Rink is somewhat similar to the hand-motion controller that you’d have used if you own or have played on a Wii console. The main difference between Rink and a Wii controller, besides their different physical features, is that Rink is much more advanced. The controller will be able to track your hand movements, namely clicking/tapping and dragging, in real life and translate them into actions in the virtual world. This also means that you’ll be able to use these controllers to “type” on a virtual keyboard (How odd that’ll look to the other people around you though). It will look like something right out of a sci-fi movie or TV show!
That said, Rink is not exactly a revolutionary technology (again, please refer to “Wii controller”). However, when it is coupled with virtual reality, it may open up an entirely new way for GearVR users to enjoy the virtual reality games that they love! VR game developers will also be able to utilize Rink’s motion sensors and develop games that focus more tracking both your hand and head movements, and provide their players with a much deeper level of immersion.
Considering that Oculus’s own controller, the Oculus Touch, has just been delayed until after the second half of 2016, Rink may just be one of the first VR motion controller to hit the market really soon. However, at the moment, Samsung has yet to release any more information regarding Rink’s price, release date, and detailed specs.
Rink will be showcased at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 that will be taking place in Las Vegas, USA from 6th of January to 9th of January. Hopefully, by then, we’ll be able to obtain more videos of Rink in action for your viewing and learn more of Samsung’s plan to market Rink to its enthusiastic GearVR users.
Check out Rink in action: