One of the emerging frontiers of virtual reality is the integration of haptic feedback – the simulation of holding and touching virtual objects. One company with a solution for that is Dexta Robotics, who have created an exoskeleton glove, the Dexmo, allowing users to feel their way through virtual environments…
When watching people interacting with virtual spaces it’s not unusual to see them falling through virtual tables. There are now various haptics technologies paving the way to the kind of technology seen in the Star Trek holodeck, including Dexta Robotics’ Dexmo exoskeleton glove, which does away with consumer VR controllers to have the user directly interact with the space. It also looks like an enormous robotic claw.
With sensors on each finger, the gloves physically prevent your hand from moving through objects and, by applying force, can even simulate the sensation of pushing or squeezing an object. The company is currently focusing on how the technology can be integrated with the HTC Vive (as well as considering implementation with the Hololens and Oculus), with applications ranging from education and training to gaming. Think surgeons delicately guiding robotic tools via a VR/AR interface; or gamers toting a virtual shotgun with realistic feedback. However, ahead of software partnerships and integrations, the Dexmo is some way away from any kind of consumer launch.
Meanwhile, the Xbox One may be getting something similar a lot sooner with the Manus VR glove. The glove provides feedback when the user touches objects, but doesn’t physically restrain the fingers from moving. The gloves’ developer kit is currently on pre-order and the controller is expected to be available to consumers in the near future.
That said, we’re still not quite up to the level of being able to lean on a virtual bar just yet…
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