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Gaming

You can give the finger with Valve's new Knuckles controller

The game company is designing a controller to display people's individual fingers in virtual reality. So get ready to point, direct and high-five.

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Some of the developer documentation for the new controller.

Valve

Game controllers have always been imperfect. They let you do stuff in a game using a combination of buttons and joysticks, but you rarely feel like you're actually in the game.

Well, now a new controller called the Knuckles Cap Sense will allow a computer to recognize your fingers. This means game developers can tell the difference between you pointing and holding a fist, or how many fingers you're holding up, and perhaps even if you're showing one finger in particular.

Is the person scared? Or perhaps dropping a cup of tea? Regardless, they're showing us what Valve's new controller looks like.

Valve

"This. Is. Magic," said one commenter on Steam's development site. 

While it's not exactly magic, it's rather cool. Other companies like Facebook's Oculus have been testing technologies to help people use their hands in a more natural way in VR, whether it be pulling the trigger on a virtual gun or pointing at a virtual menu. But full-hand controllers have been largely elusive.

Valve, which partnered with HTC to design the $799 Vive headset, had initially shown off the Knuckles controller late last year to some developers, and now it's publishing documentation for developers.

Valve said it's begun sending initial units to developers for feedback and plans to make further announcements sometime soon.

Update, 12:34 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Valve.