Gest is a mouse and keyboard for the VR generation

Meet the handiest controller this side of Minority Report

That looks handy

Doesn’t it just? The Gest is a motion-sensing strap-on with a mission to aid humans in their desire for mastery over the third dimension. A generation of geeks for whom multitouch and VR is the norm, who aren’t satisfied with the mouse and keyboard as input devices. Oh, and if you’re Facetiming home about it, make sure you pronounce it ‘jest’.

Wha-what? Like jest, not guest?

Yep, remember that day when someone announced that GIF was pronounced ‘jif’, and the internet went into spasm? Well, that with this. But, let’s not be distracted. Gest uses accelerometers, gyro and magnetometer sensors on the finger clips and main body to track movement and gestures. It’s a relatively low-cost, low-power solution, in contrast to things like Leap Motion which was very snazzy in its ability to track your free-floating hand, but had significant processing demands.

What do I do with it, though?

That is yet to be ascertained. It’s easy to imagine that while using a VR headset you might use two Gests to type on a virtual keyboard. Whereas a more day-to-day non-VR scenario might be Photoshop. If you’re using a stylus it’s awkward to go back to the keyboard or mouse to change tools or brushes. A Gest on your other hand would let you assign shortcut gestures to commands, or manipulate on-screen objects. But these are slightly simplistic examples. The team behind Gest will be releasing a dev kit, so that all creators of virtual spaces can support the fingery peripheral.

And how would I go about obtaining one?

Hold your horses, because Gest isn’t available just yet. It was launched via Kickstarter, and having already secured its crowdfunding goal we know it’s coming at some point in 2016 – but we can’t say when for sure. The makers have said that those that “pre-ordered” one or more Gests by backing the Kickstarter campaign should receive theirs in November 2016 though, so you’re looking at a whole year before you can get your hands on a Gest. Or a Gest on your hands.

You can pre-order a Gest for either your left or right hand for US$179, or a pair for US$358.