VR Pen Gives Design Professionals A Precise Tool For 3D Drawing
Designed for commercial applications, the MASSLESS pen provides a precise and intuitive way to sketch in a virtual world
In 2015, Google acquired a company that gave them access to the software that we now know as Tilt Brush. It’s available for home use and works with both the Oculus and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets. However, despite the impressive experience it provides, it’s not exactly designed for professional use. This is where hardware and software startup MASSLESS comes in, creating the equivalent of a Wacom tablet for the VR world.
In engineering and architecture, the dimensions must always be exact. For MASSLESS, providing tools for accuracy and precision even in the VR world space is the purpose. Their ecosystem works through three major parts: a special pen, a sensor and its specially designed controller. The ecosystem is designed to be compatible with the Oculus and the HTC Vive.
The sensor and the special pen are in charge of tracking where the pen’s tip is. In the specifications sheet, the startup claims the system is capable of precise tracking to the tune of 0.05 mm, or less than half the width of a human hair. And it scans the position at a rate of 60 times per second. Two-dimensional capabilities also make it a worthy alternative to drawing boards. The controller, on the other hand (literally), is designed to be intuitive.
Unlike Tilt Brush which operates at room scale, demonstrations of the MASSLESS system look more bound to the desk. Either because of the limits of the sensor or the resolution of the 3D VR models it handles, this device seems to work best within a limited space. The product is designed not just for technical work, but also creative jobs such as character modeling.
The startup will use cloud integration for the system, along with the mesh creation and editing. It will also have freehand drawing and annotation abilities. MASSLESS has yet to announce a price or release date, but professionals can sign up for early access on their website.
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Joe Gebbia is a multi-disciplinary designer, creative entrepreneur, and global explorer. He is the co-founder and CPO of Airbnb, which began in 2008 out of the necessity to pay his rent. What started as three airbeds, a pop-tart breakfast, welcoming hosts and an insider’s guide to the city, is now a global phenomenon of hospitality, human connectivity and economic stimulation. With an eye for simplicity and an appreciation of craft, Gebbia leads the team in creating imminently marketable products. The results are cutting-edge yet useful tools that impact the user’s experience from the moment of online contact to the end of their physical stay.