We’ve all tried writing in VR but, with the way we hold our Oculus Touch controllers and HTC Vive wands, it’s an awkward experience at best. Drawboard wants to change that for the better.
Drawboard’s creators call this new peripheral a pen, but it also reminds us of the type of stylus you might use on a tablet, only for VR. Essentially, it’s a pen-shaped controller that you hold as you would a real one. It’s tracked using Leap Motion’s hand-tracking controller on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to enable six degrees of freedom (6DOF), capturing your full range of movement. Interestingly it also works with Microsoft’s Windows-based VR headsets but doesn’t require Leap Motion.
Check it out in action in the trailer below.
Instead of writing on thin air like we do in many VR apps, you instead sit at a table or stand by a wall and write on that surface. You won’t make any marks in the real world but, in the virtual one, you’ll be taking detailed notes, making artistic drawings or whatever you please. Quick access to color changes,
The device aims to give you the infinite creative possibilities of VR while giving you a physical canvas to virtually work on, which can combat strain and repetitive strain injury.
Crucially, Drawboard comes with its own productivity software, Workspace. This virtual space allows you to create to your heart’s content but also allows you to import other documents and images for annotations. Your own creations, meanwhile, can easily be exported to any format.
While specifics like battery life haven’t been fully revealed, Drawboard is entering its first limited production run early next year. You can sign up to reverse a unit but, again, we’re not sure what the price is just yet. Devices like this may be crucial in helping get VR to a place where it can be considered a serious tool for the workplace, though headsets themselves still have a long way to go before that’s a reality.