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Watch How These New Gloves Bring The Sense Of Touch To Virtual Reality

The new SenseGlove Nova haptic force-feedback gloves are designed to make virtual gaming feel real.

The SenseGlove Nova gloves offer the sense of shapes and textures in virtual reality applications and gauge things like stiffness, resistance, and impact force. SenseGlove has intended for this technology to be sued in learning how to handle hazardous materials, work on a modern assembly line using complex tools and objects, designing and testing prototypes, and research and telerobotic applications.

A trainee using the gloves made from “smart textile material,” will tighten straps linked to the injection-molded electronics housing. The Nova pairs with a standalone VR headset (Oculus Quest and HTC Vive users would also need to mount controllers on top of the gloves) over Bluetooth, for a totally wireless setup. The technology makes use of the sensor-based tracking and computer vision algorithms to track hand and finger motion.

In both gloves, there are four magnetic friction brakes in the force-feedback system for the thumb and three fingers. These brakes apply resistance to recreate a virtual object’s density and size, and each brake can give up to 20 Newtons of force within 20 milliseconds, which is the same as the weight of a 2-kg (4.4-lb) brick. The force applied by the brakes is transferred to the fingertips with the help of mechanical wires.

SenseGlove also has a voice-coil actuator technology in the index finger and thumb part of each glove. This creates the “feeling of realistic button clicks and impact simulations, which are crucial for virtual reality training with tools and dashboards.”

“Easy-to-use and accessible haptic gloves represent a huge step forward for the VR training industry,” said SenseGlove CEO, Gijs den Butter. “The usability of the gloves is as important as their technical features, as it delivers natural interaction and allows the ability to scale up the training process, which is why the SenseGlove Nova is lightweight, wireless, compatible with standalone headsets, and easy to put on and remove.”

The gloves were introduced in 2021 and have been tested by 200 industry professionals. The Dutch army was one of the testers as well. It will now be commercially available for US$5,000 per pair. For bulk orders, there are handsome discounts offered.

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