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Athena VR gun controller enhances HTC Vive shooters, seeks funding on Indiegogo

Ilium VR and Arrow Electronics have launched a crowdfunding campaign for Athena, a virtual reality gun controller that uses SteamVR Lighthouse tracking technology to deliver immersive first-person shooter experiences.

Currently in the prototype stage of development, Athena is a wireless, motion-tracking gun peripheral that allows HTC Vive owners to intuitively aim, shoot, and reload within first-person VR experiences without relying on approximated input from Vive controllers.

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“If you’re like us, you know VR shooter experiences have the potential to be so much more,” the Indiegogo pitch states. “We want our out-of-game interactions to inform our in-game experiences, not invalidate them with unrealistic gestures and simple buttons. That’s why we created Athena, an immersive gun controller for gaming — to put the virtual world in your hands.”

VR enthusiasts wielding the controller can pull the device’s trigger to fire at in-game targets, while reloading is mapped to an included drop magazine. The Athena additionally boasts SteamVR tracking technology, enabling “seamless integration” with existing SteamVR games and experiences.

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Backers can reserve an Athena peripheral for a $260 early bird pledge, which also grants access to one of two bundled games: the zombie apocalypse shooter Arizona Sunshine or sniper sim The Nest. Supporters who pledge $300 or more will receive both games in February, while the Athena device itself will begin shipping in December 2017.

“Athena is the result of over two years of hardware prototyping and working with game developers and gamers around the world,” the project’s creators note. “We at Ilium VR have taken everything we’ve learned from our previous controllers and put it into what we think is the most immersive gun controller for virtual reality.”

Athena seeks $100,000 in fixed-goal funding by January 5. Ilium VR expects manufacturing to begin in August.