Massless showed off a pen for writing in virtual reality at the Augmented World Expo, where 212 companies showed their wares for VR and augmented reality.
It is a unique solution, and it demonstrates how some things that are ordinary in the real world can be innovative and marvelous in the virtual world.
The Massless Pen allows you to point precisely at objects in VR, and it also lets you write in VR spaces. The pen uses VR to solve modelling challenges in animation, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering, and it aims to enable better design, manipulation, review, and collaboration.
It is the brainchild of Massless CEO Jack Cohen, who believes the pen can bring the benefits of immersive VR to complex, precision 3D modelling applications. You can use it to navigate in an intuitive way, and it is accessible because everybody knows how to use a pen.
The company is based in San Francisco and London.
Working with large 3D monitors has always been slower and more cumbersome than working on traditional 2D monitors. But in VR, you can rotate the models and understand them better, turning the images until you get the right view. And you can manipulate 3D models more easily using a pen. Massless hopes to push the boundaries of thinking in design and argues that this pen will improve productivity and profits.
The company said the pen is highly accurate, responsive, and intuitive. You can use it like a drafting pen in VR in a 3D space, and it has precision up to 0.05 millimeters accuracy. Another benefit is that one party can create the design while another reviews the creation in real time.
Investors include Super Ventures.
“We did an initial round of investment in Massless last Spring because in AR and VR the mouse and keyboard become obsolete and there is a need to reinvent the way we interact with the world. We were looking for a high precision and intuitive interface device that is a fundamental requirement to bring the incredible immersive power of VR to professionals such as designers and engineers,” said Ori Inbar, founder and managing partner at Super Ventures, in a statement.
“The Massless team has done an outstanding job of taking their prototype product and turning it into the product they are launching today. The Massless Pen has become one the most anticipated new product launches in our portfolio.”
The pen is expected to debut in 2017. The company hasn’t yet disclosed the price. Target customers include product designers and engineers who work with 3D models.
Eearlier in his career, Cohen published academic papers in physics journals and received a doctorate from Oxford University. He was also an enterprise fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2015, he left academia, and a year later he raised money for Massless.
The Massless Pen requires a VR-ready PC, 16GB of main memory, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card or better, and an Intel Core i5 or better.