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Wireless, modular motion tracking system for the most natural and intuitive interaction with video games, virtual reality, and more.
Wireless, modular motion tracking system for the most natural and intuitive interaction with video games, virtual reality, and more.
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2,383 backers pledged $604,978 to help bring this project to life.

Features and Shipping Update


In order to accommodate some important hardware improvements, which are explained below, we regret to announce a three-month delay in shipping of the STEM System to our backers. We are trying our best to balance the dual priorities of timing and product quality and we have decided to adjust our schedule for the sake of performance optimization. We now plan to ship the pre-production STEM Systems in July (originally April), and we plan to ship units to the rest of the Kickstarter backers beginning in October (originally July). Thanks for your patience; we waited until our plans were firm before presenting a new timeline. We apologize for any inconvenience related to the delay. 

The delay in shipping has been a result of two primary factors, both of which are related to our commitment to delivering the best-performing product possible.  

New Solution to Eliminate Distortion

First, our engineers have identified a novel way to greatly reduce or eliminate environmental distortion (often referred to as “bending”) that will significantly improve accuracy and further ensure a consistent and reliable experience in different environments and for a wider range of VR applications. Note that this is additive to all of the other previously announced improvements we have made to the accuracy, precision and range of our tracking technology for the STEM System. This is especially important for VR, where accurate absolute position tracking is critical for hand-eye coordination. We are testing this solution with this latest hardware revision, and we will share more information soon. 

STEM Module Changes  

During our testing of the prototype STEM module units (the removable modular tracking component) we encountered issues with the consistency of the tracking performance. Specifically, we found that the design of our STEM module introduced significant electronic noise (which required too much filtering, which adds latency) and mechanical instability (which translates to inconsistent, sometimes unreliable tracking data) to the system. For these reasons, we decided to change the design of the the individual STEM tracking modules in favor of permanently attaching the tracking components to the circuit board for the given device. This design allows us to provide the high level of tracking we have promised.

The result of this change is that what we originally introduced as individual STEMs (tracking components only) and STEM Packs (with power and other electronics) will now be a new STEM Pack that includes everything (including all of the components required for tracking when paired with a STEM Base). Likewise, each STEM Controller will also include all the tracking components, battery power, etc.

The good news is that the redesigned STEM Packs will still be usable in a modular fashion; each STEM Pack will now be totally self-contained, however, rather than serving as a component that docks within another peripheral. We are designing the mounting system for the STEM Packs to be as flexible as possible. We believe that many (if not all) of you will find development with the new STEM Packs much easier without the need to integrate any STEM-specific electronics. We will release dimensional specifications for the new STEM Packs soon. We will work closely with companies like Tactical Haptics to make sure that we provide them with the needed tracking for their products.  

Anyone who ordered a three- or five-tracker system will receive two STEM Controllers plus either one or three new STEM Packs, respectively. And again, each STEM Controller or STEM Pack will have full tracking functionality with rechargeable battery power.  

Below you can see a render of the new STEM Pack with interchangeable mount and wrist/ankle strap:

Below is a rendering of the STEM Pack as it will attach to an HMD (using the Oculus Rift DK1 as an example):

Here are some renderings of the updated design for the STEM Controller:

Developer Kit and Future Products  

We have designed the STEM System as a developer kit to support a broad range of use cases, including short- and long-range tracking, with different configurations of trackers, in and out of VR. This gives developers as much freedom as possible to create the applications they want. For the future, we are planning lower-priced consumer products targeted for more specific applications, such as a two- or three-tracker system for a sit-down VR experience. The initial full-featured STEM System that we are shipping to Kickstarter backers is designed to provide a great user experience for any use case as well as to enable development for any of our future products.  

Thank you for all of your continued support!  

The Sixense Team

Sixense, Robert Silva, and 16 more people like this update.


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    1. Daniel Ervik on June 6, 2014

      I am ok with this solution, although I will probably get two more sensors which I can use in applications where I don't want to use the controllers :)
      The omni has also been delayed, so I guess I'm ok with this too :p

    2. Missing avatar

      Ray Glendenning on May 14, 2014

      Is the battery replaceable? The changes really impact the usefulness to a developer.

    3. Rob Solomon on May 8, 2014

      Add me to the chorus hoping for a discount on additional trackers due to the STEM integration. Offering two additional trackers for sale to backers at a break-even price (to make up for the lack of promised modularity) would be a good compromise.

    4. NobleBrutus on May 7, 2014

      There is one flaw in your argument as far as I can see. - Even though the removable STEMs without the controllers would have been useless by themselves, as you later said they could be mounted on to 3rd party controllers.
      The numbers are now, assuming we wanted to use 2 3rd party controllers:
      Before: 5 trackers (3 STEM packs & 2 STEMs in controllers)
      After: 3 trackers (3 STEMs (2 clipped on to controllers))
      In this respect it is a massive blow to anyone looking to use third party controllers ever.
      If "For developers of peripherals, the new STEM Pack provides an easier method of implementing tracking because no integration with electronics is required. " as you say is true, then why don't you do that for your own peripheral? It would be almost exactly what you promised us in the first place.

    5. Sixense 2-time creator on May 6, 2014

      We would like to clarify the difference in functionality between the STEM module as originally described in the Kickstarter campaign and the updated design of the STEM Pack, which includes the components of the original STEM Pack and the STEM module.

      ORIGINAL DESIGN: In the previous design the STEM module was a removable component containing only the specific tracking components (but without power, wireless communications or a processor board). The goal of this design was to keep the module as small as possible in order to give developers as much freedom as possible to design any peripheral device into which the module could dock. The module would need to obtain power from the device to which it was attached, whether it was one of our STEM Controllers, an original STEM Pack or a third-party device designed to work with a STEM module (e.g., a Tactical Haptics controller). So while the original STEM module was designed to be removable from the STEM Controller, it was not functional without an appropriately designed device into which it could be inserted.

      UPDATED DESIGN: We have combined the tracking components, battery power, wireless communications and processor board into the new STEM Pack, which is now a totally self-contained device with much better performance than the previous design. For developers of peripherals, the new STEM Pack provides an easier method of implementing tracking because no integration with electronics is required. We believe that the updated design provides a much easier path to implementing STEM System tracking for VR applications.

    6. Missing avatar

      Matthew Royal on May 5, 2014

      Any official response on the Integrated STEM pack situation?

    7. Missing avatar

      rachid boudil on May 2, 2014

      remove the modular external pack is a really bad news for me.
      so with the triple bundle pack, we receive only 1 stem pack ?

    8. Kenneth Newbery on May 2, 2014

      I'm with most of the people here. Delays are always welcome as long as the end product doesn't suffer but in this case it has suffered! D:
      Please Sixense, for the sake of the Stems' future I really believe they need to be modular because if the first party controllers don't support the Stem packs then how can you expect others to adopt the Stem packs to their designs?
      I really don't mind any extra bulk either if it means better performance.

    9. Martin Huber on May 1, 2014

      Delay from my side is okay if the product gets better. Regarding the STEMs, on one side I'm disappointed, but if it is what it takes to get the product working, go that road. Also, with the new size, I really can't imagine how anyone can integrate them with their controllers, they are HUGE. I think Sixense went the integration route with theirs because the controllers would have gotten really clunky with external packs...

    10. Kilian Steenman on May 1, 2014

      The delay is ok, would've been great if it shipped in july, but it was unlikely anyway. But I am a bit disappointed about the integrated STEM packs too. Was hoping I could use 5 STEM packs without controllers. Lot's of experiences that don't require a controller at all.

    11. Lambda Core on April 30, 2014

      Thank you guys so much for delaying the product for the sake of improvements! It feels good to see honest communication about the stuff that is keeping you busy. Good luck!

    12. Richard Lee on April 30, 2014

      If the stem packs cant work correctly with the first party controller then what hope do third party devices have of using them?

      Like others have said it does feel like we are loosing out on what we were originally promised, those of us with the 5 pack's won't be too badly hit (although it still hurts), but for the 3 or 2 tracker bundles, I feel for you, that's a bitter pill to swallow.

    13. Missing avatar

      Roeland Kooijman on April 30, 2014

      If I read their post correctly the tracking quality of the STEM modules and controllers will be the same. I think they had a issue with the modular part of the STEM's and this affected both the controller and the STEM packs (probably the connector of the individual STEM's causing the electronic noise).
      That's also why the STEM and STEM Pack have been combined into 1 similar to the STEM and STEM controller being combined into 1. This should fix the issue of the electronic noise for the controller and pack equally.

      However I do have to agree with the rest the people here. With the STEM no longer being separate from the controller you lose 2 separate STEM's for when you want to use a different controller supporting the STEM. Previously you could still use your 3 STEM packs and the 2 STEM's from the controllers even if you didn't want to use the controller how you can't anymore.
      A possible solution would be to supply everyone with 2 additional STEM modules but this might be pretty expensive.

      Another option would be to remove the STEM from the controller and use a STEM module on it. However this would mean 2 extra battery's and 2 extra transmitters as the Controller can't use the battery and transmitter from the module since it would cause the same electronic noise again that caused this change in the first place. This would also mean that the base would have to be adjusted to accommodate 5 STEM modules. However I do think this might be the cleaner and cheaper solution of these 2 options.

    14. Scott Backer on April 30, 2014

      With your update it does make it seem like the STEM modules will be worse than the ones in the controller. If you have to integrate the STEM into the controller for better performance, then the STEM modules must have worse tracking. Otherwise, why not have the redesigned STEM module put into the controller as a removable pack like the original design? Having to resort to integrating the STEM into the controller tells us that the stand alone STEM modules will be worse than the controller ones.

    15. Matthew van Andel on April 30, 2014

      Well, so much for July being the "Month of VR". We'll have the Oculus DK2 and the Virtuix Omni Treadmill... but now we'll be missing the controllers. *sigh*

      I'm glad you are solving technical problems and making progress, but unfortunately there is going to be some collateral damage as a result.

      Also, I assume that since I got the 3 tracker bundle I am now only getting two controllers and one spare STEM? This substantially cuts back on my tracking customization options - so I hope that before you start shipping you make additional STEMs available to Kickstarter backers at a fair price.

      That said, I'm glad progress is being made... particularly when it comes to accuracy and stability, which is what puts STEM way above half-baked inertial systems like PrioVR.

    16. Craig Delancy on April 30, 2014

      Since I backed with the reward of 5 stem modules, 3 stem packs, and 2 controllers, and now stem modules are stem packs, I can only assume I will be receiving 2 controllers and 5 stem module packs.

      To address people recommending Prio VR... Not mentioning how shady it is that there is next to no information on their websites, when I communicated to them previously they confirmed that their trackers rely on inertia, not magnetism (no thanks) and only do rotation, not position and rotation (NO THANKS!). If I remember correctly, they claimed accuracy to half a degree of rotation. Lets say that a forearm and arm are about 25cm. That is 2.18 mm in error per joint, which would make the hand off by about half a cm, much less accurate than STEM's 1mm. Plus its inertial, might as well use Wii-motes.

    17. David Mulder on April 30, 2014

      First of all, I too am sad about the integrated STEM modules. NOT like most of the others because I think it's a bad idea in and of itself, but because if it's integrated the STEM controllers should be far far better designed.

      (Either way, to everyone interested, do allow me the freedom to advice the PrioVR tracking suit. They are more experienced with tracking than sixense is and their suite is cheaper, more precise and will be released earlier than STEM, seems to be quite the win situation :P )

    18. Missing avatar

      Daniel Ernst on April 30, 2014

      Not happy to hear about the controllers. I backed this thinking I would get three sensors to use freely. Very unfortunate.

    19. Missing avatar

      lee perring on April 30, 2014

      Good update, lots of information and although its really annoying as my Omni and Oculus DK2 arrive in july i did expect a delay and its normal for developments (especially hardware!) to hit delays, so yes good decision and nice that you're concentrating on getting a great v1 of the devkit.

      My major concern is the change for the two controllers, they look like the STEM module is fully integrated now so we no longer have the option of removing the STEM module and using it else where (for instance, tactical haptics controller!) in effect you have reduced the amount of STEM modules we will recieve which is a rather important issue so could you possibly address this with some more detail?

      Another part is the reason for the integration into the controller, I hope I have read this correctly, the noise you mentioned was due to the STEM design not being complete independent, now that everything is part of the STEM Module it no longer has this issue and the fact that you have now integrated a whole sensor into the stem controller has a seperate reason? Sorry it just sorta sounds like there is an issue with the STEM modules so you decided to integrate it into the controller, meaning individual stem modules will be worse than the main controllers ( i expect this isnt true, just hard to read somehow!).

      And finally... why do the STEMs come with a removeable battery? I dont want to sound bitter or anything but with my $299 early bird I got 5 stems with 3 stem packs but if I went for the $149 early bird(which I did have at some point!) and simply added on individual stem modules I would have paid only $266, a whole STEM module free! Seems a bit silly to essentially give more to the people who paid less, maybe dont give them the removeable battery as this was kinda the only reason to get "STEM Packs", thoughts?

      Still thanks for the update, lots of information and would appreciate you keeping us up to date monthly with the progress :).

    20. Nadim Alam on April 30, 2014

      Delay is no problem.

      Integrated tracking into controllers? Horrible design choice! No way please do not do this. I ordered a 5 tracker system and sometimes instead of your controllers i was going to use Delta 6 or some other fancy controller! Now you have eliminated those options for your own benefit and are not selling us what was advertised which is im sure against kickstarter rules anyway?

      Please change back to original design, however if you must go with this then please add in 2 free trackers for all with controllers ordered.

    21. Missing avatar

      Gooky on April 30, 2014

      Yeah, add me to the list of people disappointed about the integrated trackers. The great thing about this in the first place was the whole modular design and being able to use the trackers however you liked. Eg being able to swap out one of the controllers for a Tactical Haptics controller, then just moving the tracker across. But now you can't do that without either sacrificing your other trackers, or having to buy more which kinda defeats the purpose.

    22. Missing avatar

      Alberto Torres Ruiz on April 30, 2014

      I have two comments:

      * Why not use optical communication between STEMpack and controller instead of electrical? I don't mind two separate batteries, or battery for the pack + regular AA cell for the controller. That would greatly improve modularity.

      * Please don't use microswitches for the buttons!!! I said this in another comment, it's the worst thing of Hydra as a controller. Among all gaming systems I had, only the triggers of the nintendo DS had micro switches with springs, and those failed too easily. For thumb buttons and with no springs they're horrible. No travel distance.

    23. Missing avatar

      Florian Schulze on April 30, 2014

      I'm fine with the delay, but that the controllers have the tracker integrated is a real bummer. I had hoped to combine it with my Hydra for some applications and use the trackers of the controllers for other things. Now I only have one separate tracker instead of three. I really hope you reconsider that change.

    24. Antonie Bouman on April 30, 2014

      Thanks for updating us about this delay and altough I can't wait to have the Stem system in my hands I think it is great in the end I get a beter product because of the delay.

    25. NobleBrutus on April 30, 2014

      I'm also wondering why the stem packs couldn't be used in the controllers instead of integrated tracking.

      The delay, although unfortunate, is not a big deal if it's going to increase the quality of the product significantly.

    26. Missing avatar

      Matthew Royal on April 30, 2014

      I'm upset with the loss of the modular controller design. Anytime that I'm not using the controllers, I only have 3 trackers available. Those with the 3 tracker or 2 tracker bundles are hit even harder. There is a huge difference between two controllers with two modular trackers and two controllers.

      If I'm using the Virtuix Omni, using a gun controller or a sword controller, I'm limited to 3 trackers. The Tactical Haptics controllers will hopefully reach the market. Those with 2 or 3 tracker bundles are out of luck on being able to use them with STEMs without purchasing more of course.

    27. Missing avatar

      Rick on April 30, 2014

      Too bad about the modular trackers and the delay. Waiting until the last minute to announce the delay is bad practice. Apart from that, happy to see an update and hope to see more results soon. Still looking forward to using system more accurate than my Hydra.

      To other backers. We are not share holders, we are not customers.... we are backers and made donations in the hope that STEM could make the product we would like to see in this world. To express our appreciation, we can vote with out wallets by either buying more of their products in the future or not. To express their gratitute STEM will deliver some a reward. There is no legal requirement.

    28. Missing avatar

      Michael Armstrong on April 30, 2014

      This is fine regarding the hardware, but like OlivierJT says I think an update on the SDK availability is as important.

    29. Missing avatar

      Miranda on April 30, 2014

      Very disappointing. Instead of the three modular trackers I paid for, now I only get one. Why even keep the double handle design of the controllers if you're not gonna have a slot and the tracker is built in? This just tells me your STEM packs are badly designed, as not even your own company is using them on the main STEM controllers. If there was nothing wrong with them, you would add a slot on the controller for the STEM pack to go in, instead of having a built in solution.

    30. Missing avatar

      Mario M on April 30, 2014

      Hmm, I'm not sure if I am happy or frustrated about this. The design looks good, but being unable to remove the trackers from the controllers seems a bit annoying... It doesn't affect me negatively, but I can see some people are quite upset because they were counting on being able to use the controllers' trackers that way.

      Also damn 3 more months to wait u.u but if need be, then it will be for the better, I'd rather wait than get something bad. It's one of the risks (delays) involved in kickstarters, and tends to happen a lot from what I have seen.

      @Jordan Chaleil a Stem Pack still has better tracking than the positional tracking available with the Oculus Rift DK2. The current way of getting positional tracking involves a camera and infrared LEDs used as markers, if you rotate or move enough so that the camera doesn't see the LEDs, positional tracking won't work anymore. A Stem Pack will solve this problem.

    31. Kevin Cole on April 29, 2014

      Thanks for the update! I'm quite alright hearing this. Sad because the omni is going to show up possibly before this but w/e I'd rather see a more awesome tracking system then one that implodes like the hydra some times!

    32. Josh McCormick on April 29, 2014

      I am fine with this. I'd rather have the delay.

    33. Missing avatar

      pedrocp on April 29, 2014

      Thanks for the update!. It's like having a hardware upgrade for free!

      Maybe you should consider to give the option to buy additional STEM packs since the first two are now integrated into the controller.

    34. Carl Dungca
      on April 29, 2014

      Count me among the slightly bummed re: integrated/non-modular STEM packs on the controllers. I'd pledged under the 3-pack tier w/ the intention of trying out a Hydra + STEM setup for 5-point tracking. Non-optimal to mix & match, admittedly, but a cheaper route to fuller-body tracking than a purely STEM solution.

    35. Missing avatar

      Steven Chu on April 29, 2014

      I'm in the same boat as David Pozniak. Glad we have an update (with firmer? dates) but very upset at the removal of the modular design. With the modular design, I could place the battery (bulk of the weight) on my back while the light-weight tracker would provide head movement data. Now, I am unable to do that with the hardwired design having bought the early-bird 2 controller bundle.

      With the recent price hikes on their website for STEM pack pre-orders, I am losing faith in their ability to make an affordable system. Perhaps if they allowed backers to place add-on orders in light of this new design, they could garner some forgiveness.

    36. Missing avatar

      Jordan (deleted) on April 29, 2014

      Glad to hear you guys are making progress!

      one thing... so why do we need the head tracker now? Oculus DK2 will provide that position tracking already. I mean that might have been good if you shipped before the DK2 so that people could play with it on the DK1 (that has no pos track), but now with the DK2 being shipped before this what really is the point of having the head tracker? do us people who backed 3 trackers just have a spare tracker now?

      I heard of some people putting it on the belt line? but what use will this be?

    37. Missing avatar

      Ray Glendenning on April 29, 2014

      I ordered the 3 pack as I specifically wanted 3 packs whith the option of using them in either or both of the controllers or my own controllers. I'm now losing the option I originally paid for.

    38. Missing avatar

      Poz on April 29, 2014

      First off, thank you so much for the update! It's awesome. Pictures looks fantastic!

      The delay is unfortunate but understandable, in the end the quality of the product matters most!!

      I do have one question though. I backed at the "TWO-TRACKER BUNDLE" level and am not so happy about the change - that I understand is required for a proper product - of building the tracking directly into the controller. I am not entirely sure if I would really ever take out the stems in the first place, but I did like the option in case I am playing a game that requires only one controller. That way I can user the other tracker else where (upper body or head) to have more control over the game. Other then tieing the controller to myself, would you have any suggestions? - Looking back, I really should have put in another 50$ to get the three tracker bundle...

    39. Missing avatar

      Phil McCarty on April 29, 2014

      Any thought to releasing the CAD specs for the trackers, so we can start designing peripherals around them?

    40. Joe Lackner on April 29, 2014

      while i'm a little bummed at the delay, i'm happy to hear you are making the hard decisions to deliver a great product.

    41. OlivierJT on April 29, 2014

      I do hope the SDK is not coming in October, at least so we can integrate the Hydra in Unreal Engine 4 and not delay development and testing to October !