Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Sep 2013 18:51 UTC
Games

We set out with a singular goal: bring the Steam experience, in its entirety, into the living-room. We knew how to build the user interface, we knew how to build a machine, and even an operating system. But that still left input - our biggest missing link. We realized early on that our goals required a new kind of input technology - one that could bridge the gap from the desk to the living room without compromises. So we spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input and we now believe we've arrived at something worth sharing and testing with you.

Where Microsoft and Sony show zero innovation with the Xbox One and the PS4, Valve is the one pushing limits. Their controller is quite, quite unique, and has a whole different approach than what we've seen before - instead of two inaccurate joysticks, it has two super-precise touchpads with advanced haptic feedback and the ability for both absolute and relative positioning. Go read the description - a summary won't do it justice. And, as always: hackable. Yes, even the controller is open and hackable. Wow.

They're on the right track here. If I were Microsoft or Sony, I'd start getting worried.

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RE[2]: Worst design I've ever seen
by emarkp on Fri 27th Sep 2013 19:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Worst design I've ever seen"
emarkp
Member since:
2005-09-10

The circles identify position, but require your thumbs to "seek" the neutral position rather than relax to restore to neutral.

Also, to use it as a button (I assume) you'll have to lift the thumb, and bring it back down again, which will require you to seek the neutral position again.

This is not a small deal. The repeated motion and tension will absolutely damage tissue. I'll stick to analog sticks or just keyboard and mouse.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Ars has more specifics about the haptic feedback techniques being built in to provide feedback for your thumbs.

Also, the clicking the trackpads might be mechanical in nature - Ars says each pad is also 8 buttons. If they weren't mechanical, then there could be an arbitrary number of buttons if the developer so desired.

Reply Parent Score: 3

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Also, the clicking the trackpads might be mechanical in nature - Ars says each pad is also 8 buttons. If they weren't mechanical, then there could be an arbitrary number of buttons if the developer so desired.


somehow it remindes me of the clickpads ti uses on their nspire calculators
they are utter garbage...

Reply Parent Score: 4

emarkp Member since:
2005-09-10

Haptic feedback isn't tactile feedback. And really neither are what I'm aiming at. When your thumb pushes a thumbstick away from neutral, a spring is there to bring it back to center.

This design requires the thumb to seek the center using opposing muscle pairs, rather than simply relaxing. It's absolutely textbook RSI.

Does no one remember membrane keyboards?

Reply Parent Score: 3

Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

So what you're saying is: you haven't held one, you haven't used one, you have no idea how it feels, you have no idea how it works, but you totally know it's crap and you'll never use one? Amazing.

Reply Parent Score: 5

emarkp Member since:
2005-09-10

Largely, yes. I did say I'd look at a demo. It's possible I'm wrong, but every example IN HISTORY has shown the same problems with touchpads. I'd be happy to be surprised, but I put the chance at less than 1%.

Note that no one has actually responded to the substance of the criticism....

Reply Parent Score: 1