With the new Finch Shift controllers you can now play Oculus Rift and Vive games on your smartphone, but there's a catch.... There is a new entry into the mobile VR controller market and it's called the Finch Shift. This new controller will work with any Android phone using Google Cardboard, Gear VR, Google Daydream and even the Oculus Rift.
They are completely wireless and have 9 DOF for a full range of motion while playing your favorite games. Not much is known about the technical specifications at the time of writing this article. What is though,is that it is a 4 piece system. Two hand controllers along with two arm bands. The controllers closely resemble the Oculus Touch controllers without the half moon tracking sensors. The system also requires you to wear two arm bands with what looks like some kind of tracking/accelerometers on them. You wear them just above the elbows, one on each arm. How they connect to the phone is unknown, it could be Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. You hold one controller in each hand, it has thumbsticks buttons and a trigger in the front.
As far as playing games, it seems like you can play any VR game designed for a smartphone with no problem. Playing Oculus Rift or Vive games is where it gets tricky. While technically you can play these games on a smartphone, they are not running on the smartphone. You need a computer to run the Oculus Home app or Steam to run the game. Basically the phone is just mirroring what is running on your PC. Besides needing a computer capable of running the software,the phone needs to be tethered by a USB cable.
Though the company claims you can send the data via Wi-Fi. You will also need to install a streaming app from a company called dive2vr.com. From the research I have done, It seems to work well with both Oculus and Steam apps. The other thing I forgot to mention is that Finch Swift does all this without any external camera sensors. So if you were just playing smartphone VR games, you could use this anywhere. Outside, at work or at a friends house without any additional setup.
The Finch Swift is not consumer ready just yet. You can pre-order the devkits now though for $179 from their website (www.finch-shift.com) if you so choose to. Only time will tell if this is the new must have controller for all your mobile gaming needs.