Vicon Apex - 3D controller
Vicon Apex is a precise, robust hand-held 3D input device and tracking tool. Its ergonomic design and flexible controls enable the user to interact intuitively with virtual objects in a 3D environment. 
Bentley case study
Here the Apex is being used to manipulate a full size Bentley car in an immersive environment. Infra red cameras and markers accurately track the 3D goggles and the Apex controller in 3D space so that the wearer can fully interact with the car before it even exists. Examples of use include serveice engineers undertaken a virtual serice / gear box change without ever having to make an actual product.
Video
See how the Apex is being used for real world manufacturing applications, providing a stable interactive 3D environment.
Instant Feedback
Unlike other devices available for use in virtual environments, Apex provides haptic vibration for model collision warning, and user feedback. Apex has also been developed so that multiple devices can be used at the same time, either in the same environment or across the web.
Flexible Navigation & Control
The ergonomically designed handle has four buttons and an analog joystick with a center push switch providing a fifth button. The values of the controls are streamed through Tracker’s VRPN server and are 
also available in DataStream SDK. This means you have complete control over how Apex performs predefined tasks in your application.
Plug and play
With Bluetooth® wireless technology and charging via a convenient micro USB socket, it couldn’t be simpler to get started with Apex. In open spaces, it will continue to communicate with the Tracker software up to 100 meters away, thanks to the Class 1 Bluetooth module. No proprietary receiver interface, no driver installation and no worries.
Refined sketch development
The electronics team evolved a dodecagon shape internally and this informed the later concepts as the best way to ensure a stable 3D device as previous versions had a reputation of losing their tracking postions due to 'blind spots' from the cameras.
A bit of sculpture
At Curventa we create a lot of blue foam models to quickly interact with a 3D design, especially a hand held device with ergonomic constraints as this. Our clients love them as they help the team make fast decisions during the tight time frame of an active project like this.
Sketch development
A few samples of ideas we considered during the development of the Apex. 
The Science
Vicon is the leading developer of motion capture products and services for the Life Science, Entertainment and Engineering industries. Vicon develop and manufacture software and hardware that in real-time triangulates and tracks markers in 3D space. Utilising this underlying technology we are able to build a complex 3D controller for manipulating large 3D data visualisation like motor car assemblies in real-time.
 
About Vicon
In celebration of 30 pioneering years in the motion capture industry, this 30th birthday special edition of The Standard is packed full of leading edge research, projects and industry insight from Vicon and their customers. Pages 18 & 19 are dedicated to the Apex and page 32 features the Curventa designed Cara headset, plus you'll find out how NASA design their space suits, a behind the scenes look at Bungie's new studio and a walk down memory lane with Vicon's founders, Julian Morris and Tom Shannon.
 

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