It alternates between being a gaming controller and a remote, thanks to its unique orientation-agnostic design.
Designed to be perhaps the first-ever controller targeted specifically at augmented reality, the Rokid Station fulfills multiple roles, working with multimedia, gaming, as well as productivity tools. The controller plugs right into the Rokid Air AR glasses, offering a tactile way to navigate the virtual interface, while also being a computing device in its own right, with its own AR app store, support for streaming, browsing, and productivity tools, as well as built-in storage for your own data.
The Station works when tethered to the Rokid Air glasses, which aren’t standalone AR goggles like the Hololens or Magic Leap. The slim, lightweight glasses function as the display unit, while the Station is your own handheld computer and controller too. It houses its own 5,000 mAh battery which Rokid says lasts enough to watch 3 full movies (or work/play for 6 hours), and even comes with in-built 32Gb of storage that can be used for movies, files, apps, etc.
The Rokid Station’s design feels a little confusing at first glance because your mind can’t seem to grasp the ‘right way’ to hold the device. The trick, however, is that the controller doesn’t come with any right way of holding it. It can be used in portrait or even landscape mode, and by left and right-handed people alike. In portrait mode, the Station serves as a remote control, while in handheld mode, it transforms into a gaming-style controller that can be gripped and operated with two hands.
The handheld device is quite intuitive to use, with simple controls that mimic the format of a gaming controller combined with a smart-TV remote. The Rokid Station needs to perpetually be plugged into the glasses, which feels like a bit of a hindrance, but its compact form factor definitely makes it more convenient than having to tether a laptop or desktop to your AR glasses.
Rokid announced the Station this year with built-in Alibaba Cloud’s cloud computing service and support for other 3D office applications as well. The device works both online and offline, letting you stream movies in your personal AR-style IMAX theater as well as access local files and videos. Users can even play games like Genshin Impact or browse social media on the device too. The Rokid Station is currently priced at ¥799 RMB ($114 USD), although you have to buy the Rokid Air AR glasses separately.