Anyone that owns a piece of modern technology will tell you that, above all else, the biggest pain in the neck is keeping your devices charged. Whether it be my Chromebook, 3DS, Vita, PS4 controllers, Wii U gamepad, smartphone, or anything else, I’ll run into the ‘dead battery’ conundrum more than once per week. Now with the release of modern VR technology, I have things like an HTC Vive in my home.
After I’m done using my Vive, the controllers usually end up either on the floor next to the headset, or on my desk, also next to the headset. Since I’ve built up this habit of just placing the controllers wherever I leave the headset, they usually don’t get charged. This goes on for a day or two, until they die or are on the verge of death, and I usually discover the issue when I am either in the middle of playing something or are showing VR to a friend for the first time.
It’s incredibly inconvenient. Six Axis Gaming is working on a solution with a Kickstarter campaign for their HTC Vive controller Docking Station. As a PS4 user, I can testify that, until I had a docking station for my controllers, they were always dead. I built up the same habit: after playing, I would set them next to my TV remote or headset and forget to plug them in. By designing a dedicated place to charge, display, and protect your HTC Vive controllers, it absolves the biggest problem with rechargeable devices.
Interestingly, since the device is powered by two extended USB cables – essentially the same way you charge your controllers now, just with a fancy dock attached – you can plug them into a PC this way for updating the firmware as well. That’s convenient.
Worth noting is that this is not the first time someone has thought of creating a docking station for HTC Vive controllers. For example, you can download and 3D print similar concepts from Thingiverse right now, provided you have the resources. And you can bet that someone out there is working with HTC and Valve on officially branding a similar product at some point. But until then, this looks like an excellent solution. Why not grab a Cybust to hold your headset as well, while you’re at it?
Since this is a Kickstarter, it’s important to go in with a degree of caution. The company is targeting a relatively high $25,000 target. If you select one of the pledge tiers, your money is only taken out if they hit their minimum goal. However, keep in mind, that just because they reach that goal does not guarantee production and delivery of the product. Successful Kickstarters fall behind or fail to deliver all the time. With that being said, a functioning prototype with clear design plans is an excellent sign.