Virtual reality is awesome and all, but there are still things that it could improve on, such as additional haptic feedback. That's what makes these new haptic gloves such an interesting prospect.
Researchersat École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich are hard at work on a new lightweight haptic feedback glove known as DextrES that can be used in VR applications. What's so cool about it? It makes you feel as though you're actually holding something in real life, just like you are in the game or application you're currently engaged with in VR!
The glove's material is just 2mm thick, with all its components weighing about 8 grams per finger. It's small, but powerful, and only needs a few milliwatts to function. The nylon glove itself has thin elastic metal strips the go over the fingertips. When someone grips something in VR, there's a different set of voltage that charges the metal pieces and makes them stick together, which gives the illusion of holding something. It sounds very, very cool, to be honest.
Of course, the project is still in its early stages right now, so it's nowhere near close to being complete, but these companies are doing important research when it comes to making virtual reality feel just a little more real...in all the ways that they can, anyway.
Brittany Vincent posted a new article, VR haptic gloves make you feel like you're holding virtual objects
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So just looking at this, I see many problems
First, it cannot represent a shape at all, it has no way of controlling the shape your fingers end up in, just the total distant that is achieved by bending the fingers. Each knuckle would need a "brake" but this only extends the whole finger. Its a problem with definition, the finger has 3 operational bends, and this only has 1 controller for the whole finger, which means you cannot feel the shape of the object at all, not even roughly! Depending on how you bend your fingers, the same object would be able to take on different shapes with every grab.
Second, since this does not have the ability to do anything except brake, it will not work for anything except hard objects, springy objects cannot be simulated since there would be no method for rebound or spring back. This totally limits the tech to rock hard objects.
Third, the ties totally ruin any experience of feeling an object in the first place, since all you will feel is the ties press into your fingers....
only these three factors make this nothing more than a novelty, obviously this tech is just not the right fit for the task at hand without huge changes to be anywhere close to viable.
Probably a good way to get funding though....