Singapore tech company Refract has launched the Kickstarter campaign for its AXIS (Active XR Interface System) full-body motion-tracking technology. Designed with active gaming in mind, the game controller gives players maximum freedom of movement and incredible levels of immersion as they use their bodies to control the on-screen action. A series of wearable sensors wirelessly track gamers’ full-body movements in real-time, all without the need for large and complex external base stations. The Kickstarter campaign will run until 2 October, with backers able to get a complete set of AXIS, which includes nine sensors and a main hub, as well as a copy of Refract’s first-person fighting game Freestriker. Early adopters can secure huge savings of up to 50% off the planned retail price once it enters full production in 2022.
The Refract team’s vision was to create a low-latency and affordable full-body controller to deliver an immersive motion gaming experience. The result is a series of sensors with a wireless hub that delivered on their goals and more. With just nine sensors and an on-body hub for inside-out positional tracking, the setup is designed to be simple for anyone to use, especially in smaller spaces. Besides being compatible out-of-the-box with OpenVR, OpenXR and SteamVR, AXIS also works with popular VR systems like Oculus, making it an excellent add-on for users who want to enhance their current setup.
AXIS has three distinct setups to meet different needs: Standard, VR, and Creator. These are tailored for gamers, VR experiences, and motion capture animators, respectively. Each setup uses the same basic technology, and thanks to the ability to rapidly swap and assign sensors, it is easy to add or remove them to alter the configuration quickly. As well as making the system easily scalable, this versatility also makes it incredibly affordable compared to other popular trackers. The sensors and hub also have a stylish, water-resistant design for when users work up a sweat while playing.
Founded by tech and games industry veterans from Unity, EA, and Ubisoft, Refract numbers over 40 employees and has seen consistent growth since 2018. In the first step towards full-body motion control, Refract entered into a pioneering partnership with World Taekwondo to develop its virtual sports program. This partnership enabled the federation to
promote physical activity through technological innovation, showcasing AXIS as part of the IOC’s Olympics Agenda 2020+5.
– Connect wirelessly and without need for external base stations
– Real-time low-latency full-body tracking for gaming and more
– Compatible with OpenVR and SteamVR applications
– Interchangeable and detachable straps and sensors
– Real-time, low-latency for a variety of uses, including gaming and sports simulations, as shown by World Taekwondo’s Virtual Taekwondo
The AXIS Kickstarter goal is $133,900 SGD, which will allow Refract to move the hardware into mass production. Gamers can back the standard setup of nine sensors and hub plus a copy of Freestriker for US$499, with the limited Super Early Bird offer dropping the price to US$399. For more information or to back the project, head over to the Kickstarter page. Information is also available on the Refract website at http://www.refract.gg.