Valve have a secret room — well, they have a dozen secret rooms that they'll show you if you ask nicely — in which they're working on all manner of crazy methods and means of interacting with games. $70,000's worth of wearable, eyeball tracking tech are just one of the company's speculative gizmos (Gabe's also shown personal support for the Ocular Rift VR kit), but now a job listing on the Valve site suggests the developer is set to make a stronger push for bringing Valve hardware to market. They're hiring somebody to build them a controller. "We’re frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space," write Valve, "so we’re jumping in." It might have something to do with eyeballs, it might not. It could be anything. It could even be nothing, knowing Valve.
The Industrial Designer position at Valve requires qualifications in industrial design (fair enough), as well as six year of experience in shipping "world-class, high-tech hardware products" and an understanding of product design principles. Innovations in controller technology have been mentioned by Valve on repeated occasions, with the developer known for its on-going research into "mood-tracking" biometrics such as heart-rate monitors and bracelets jobbies. There are also persistent rumours of Valve's living-room bound Steam Box hardware, which would presumably utilise Steam's Big Screen mode, presumably alongside some sofa-friendly controller to create a presumably console-threatening TV-friendly PC setup. Sweet conjecture!
"Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years," the job description states. "There’s a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked."
The job description lists a set of skills that, wouldn't you agree, could bring us the next generation of gaming peripheral?