etee five finger controller - steamvr edition
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The kickstarter is intended to fund a SteamVR 6DOF tracked version of the etee five finger controller. Handle as you see it now will be redesigned to accomodate the SteamVR sensors.

What is etee?

The etee is a first five finger tracking controller. While traditional controllers use binary buttons, etee allows for gestural and grip-based controls. The intuitive design and patented touch-sensitive material have placed etee at the forefront of input devices and controllers. A compact, lightweight and approachable form enables broad use cases across various industries, fromaming, to AR/VR, location based experiences, corporate training, mobility, aviation, robotics, manufacturing, healthcare, smarthome and automotive, to name a few.. 

The controller fits over the hand, freeing the palm while still proving something to grab onto. Five finger tracking through the use of TG0’s patented touch sensing plastics offer unprecedented levels of control over one’s fingers. As seen on the videos it not only detects touch but also proximity. As fingers bend the green bars indicate proximity and light touch, through to a squeeze gesture. When orange bars are visible the controller detects maximum pressure and engages an embedded haptic engine. This enables the user to experience, manipulate and work within his environment in new and exciting ways. Further gestures beyond the pinch, squeeze and point can be implemented in the firmware based on customer requirements. Still further interactions can be implemented in the Unity engine and application layer.

Here are some interviews and additional videos:

Who is this controller for? 

The controller aims to address the needs of a three broad customer groups:

  • Gamers
  • Hackers, makers and other creative types looking for a new way to integrate a new way to control their creations. Like this example.
  • Corporate VR training and augmented reality users

Gamers and power users

The controller can be used in two ways as a general purpose input device, where you can map finger inputs into traditional keyboard and mouse inputs to control current games. Secondly it can be a fully functional VR controller that offers a unique full five finger tracking experience that is very immersive and engaging for the end user.

Hackers and makers

The controllers, both 3DOF and 6DOF versions can be easily integrated into existing systems, technology (like drones) or being incorporated from the ground up into a new application or installation. We offer a wide range of SDKs - Unity, C++, Python that developers can leverage to bring a new an interesting control scheme to their creations.

Corporate training VR users

Controllers biggest advantage is it's easy to use and intuitive form factor. Casual users can easily pick up the controller and start interacting intuitively with the VR training content. Speeding up the learning process and making the whole experience more engaging.

Why etee over other input devices?

Key benefits and advantages of the controller over other competitive offerings:

  • full 6DOF enable you to engage with your environment fully, irrespective of where your head and eyes are turned.
  • give the small form factor you can use other physical objects while still holding on to the controllers
  • very lightweight and can be used for extended periods of time
  • sweat resistant can easily be used in more fitness oriented games and activities
  • very efficient battery life - current version offers 4-5h of continuous use, 14-16 standby
  • gesture sensing
  • intuitive and accessible, no buttons - just pure natural hand motion and finger inputs

Common questions & answers we got asked at #CES2020

I'll update this as more questions come up.

Will etee work with Oculus?

The version we are kickstarting is for a SteamVR version. We'd love to do one with Oculus, but that requires cooperation from their side. We have not managed to secure that partnership as of writing. And we don't have a clear path forward with Oculus. We still hope that through the power of community and making this kickstarter a success it will be possible down the line.

Will you be integrating thumb sticks or buttons?

The design thinking behind etee was to provide a clean, seamless touch sensing surfaces that gives users the "wow"moment when using. While still being highly responsive and able to deliver functional interactions. The design you see is mostly complete. We are updating the firmware to improve general responsiveness. Given the large interest in a more traditional form factor we can look into a dedicated gaming version down the line. Being a product development company at heart we are open to working with partners to build controllers in form factors specific to their needs.

What games does it work with so far?

We re working on integrating controls into various games, experiences and 3rd party SDKs. The 3DOF version is a complete package that can be used by developers to integrate finger tracking into their games. It can be used to develop custom SDKs and interaction methods for other technology. Music creation, smart home and others.

The 6DOF version uses the same control principle but with an integrated SteamVR tracker. We invite developers to reach out to us to figure out how we can integrate support into their game. The idea is to have more games supporting the controllers by shipping date. Please spread the word. Contact me at [email protected] and I will arrange for an SDK and demo unit for you.

Do you offer review units?

Yes, we can arrange to send out a demo unit to interested influencers. We have around 10-15 units they are being rotated as they are returned. I'd like to run 2-3 batches of reviews until the end of the campaign. Please contact me to arrange next steps [email protected]

Who is TG0?

TG0 is a sensing technology company that is disrupting the way in which technology is integrated in Human-Machine Interfaces(HMIs) by turning inert materials into smartly designed intuitive gestural user interfaces. Our technology platform is based on a material and design-driven approach that brings together our unique application of conductive polymeric materials and traditional injection-moulding processes with a sophisticated patented surface engineering method and proprietary AI algorithms and machine learning software.

You can read more about the company in these articles:

The company has also been awarded a couple of grants that validate our business model and innovative nature of the technology.

  • Materials and Manufacturing Round 3
  • H2020 SME Instrument Phase 1
  • Audience of the Future
  • Smart Grant

To date, our company has collaborated with OEMs on a range of joint development agreements, delivering innovative concepts and prototypes based on our IP, and offering our clients prioritised licensing deals in their market.

The TG0 Team

Co-Founder and CEO, Ming Kong leads research and development for the technology’s hardware. TG0’s seamless, interactive surfaces can be used in a range of applications including tactile gaming controls, car dashboard controls and ergonomic computer peripherals such as keyboards, amongst many others.

Liucheng Guo is the Co-Founder and CTO, his R&D area includes artificial intelligence (AI) and hardware/software co-design. He has published 14 academic papers and won HIPEAC paper award.  

Mick Lin is the CPO (Chief Product Officer). He is a industrial designer who specialises at concept generation and problem analysis. Delivered projects with Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Luxgen, Ford and Kymco. Has directed eight products onto the market.  

Fran Perona is our R&D Lead. Passionate about the intersection of sustainable design methods and cutting-edge research in materials science, biology and chemistry. Seasoned by a contemporary aesthetics and an attitude towards craft experimentation (both digital and traditional).

Andy Stewart is the Head of Operations. Optimizing and streamlining our process' and helping us scale. He's currently pursuing a PhD at London School of Economics studying decision-making, morality, and identity.

Jakub Kamecki is leading our business development, partnerships and sales functions. Previous experience includes working for Oracle, Dell, Tableau software. Passionate about data and cycling. Holds and MBA from University College Dublin Smurfit Business School.

Ilan Olivarez Correa is our Lead Electronics Engineer. Fan of innovation and technology and a lover of music and arts, always searching for the perfect blend between his knowledge and passions.

Felix Wieberneit recently joined the team as a Technology Designer. Impressed a lot of our customers with his concepts and executing against them.

José Rodríguez Javaloyes is our Project Engineer. Passionate about industrial design, prototyping, automotive, aerospace, motorsport and cycling. He' often engages with our automotive customers.

More about TG0 technology

TG0 has developed a new technology for making interactive 3D controls that are ergonomic, intuitive and engaging. Its solutions replace complicated networks of electronic sensors with one uniform, flexible, touch-sensitive material.

Driven by artificial intelligence algorithms and advanced signal processing, TG0’s platform technology can accurately detect variations in touch across a single flexible surface. This allows its material to easily sense pressure, location, speed, direction and movement allowing users to engage in more intuitive ways.

TG0 replaces these multi-part electronic interfaces complications with one flexible touch-sensitive material and AI-based algorithms. Our sensing method powered by machine learning and advanced signal processing allows us to detect touch interactions, such as pressure, location, direction, speed and movement, on uniform large surfaces, with absolute precision.

Our material know-how allows us to take advantage of conventional injection moulding manufacturing processes to turn emergent conductive polymers into one-piece, smart, 3D-formed touch sensing surfaces. By these means, we offer clients unlimited design freedom to create fully customisable 3D interfaces. The reduced number of single components further reduces single-part failure rates, opening up opportunities for easy disassembly and material recycling routes.