Recently we told you about a control glove for virtual reality and monitor that was being developed by the Almeria company Neurodigital Technologies. The project is still underway with very good reviews, and they have presented it at the CES held recently in Las Vegas. It will be available in pre-sale next month.
Glove One is a glove that allows us to interact with a virtual reality environment with our own hand, with the very interesting addition of being able to make us feel the touch of different surfaces through a series of vibrating pulses on each finger. According to its creators, and those who have been able to try it, the effect is so good that it even makes us feel the weight of a light object on our hand, such as a baseball or a small beach ball. In combination with an HMD like Oculus Rift, the experience will be even more impressive.
In the words of its creators in a recent interview given to La Voz de Almería, “The glove allows you to touch and feel what appears on the screen. For example, if you see an apple you can feel its texture, the volume, interact with it. And if you are with a boxing video game, you can feel the impact of the punch. If you also use virtual reality glasses, the immersion is total. It’s what we’ve called extended virtual reality.”
As we have been able to know, the glove by itself does not have sensors for positioning, so it uses a Leap Motion for this. We assume that the Leap Motion will work more reliably with a glove to which, if necessary, markers could be added, than directly with a bare hand.
At TechRadar they had the opportunity to test the Glove One recently and their impressions were also very good:
“I raise my arm and the Leap Motion sensor on the table detects my position and a virtual arm reflects my actions on the screen before me. […] when touching the surface of the table [virtual] I feel like the vibrations are starting to work their magic, but it’s still not very impressive, I feel like there’s something there but I couldn’t tell what it is blindfolded. However, as I move my finger towards the bamboo square in the center of the surface, it is noticeably different from the one on the table. Each bump feeds back a small vibration that convinces my brain that I am now playing something much more irregular.
Just above the bamboo is a purple flower in a vase. Luis Castillo, CEO of Neurodigital, tells me to pull his petals. I take one and start throwing. The more I shoot the more resistance I feel, and this is where things start to get a little more impressive. Not that I can feel the rubbery consistency of the flower, but as I slowly pinch each petal and pull on it, the increased intensity of the vibration really makes it seem like there is something physical.
For the following example they make you press a big red button that makes a baseball fall from the sky. Holding it on my hand makes me believe that I am really holding an object of that shape and, although there is no added weight, the vibrations make me believe that I am holding something of an identical mass. But the best came when I pressed the button again, falling this time a small beach ball. Holding it in my hand it feels lighter, as if it is really filled with air as I gently feel the phantom ball.
One of the last things I do is pull a lever that is on the far right of the table. As I do so I feel each notch resist my tug and then it clicks, which causes in my brain another moment of “this is very good”. The lack of resistance is observed once again but that probably demands a change in the basic laws of physics rather than in technology. However, it feels like I’m holding the lever in my right hand.”
In this video we can see the mini (very mini) interview they did at CES on Antena 3 Noticias, although it is really brief. I miss that they had the opportunity to talk a little more about their project.
Next month the Glove One can already be pre-purchased, although it will only be a limited print run to collect impressions from the developers and be able to improve it for the commercial launch that is planned for the end of 2015 at a price of 199 euros. At that time they plan to establish strategic alliances with video game companies in order for the industry to adopt the glove for their most cutting-edge titles, although they also intend to release patches to adapt it to existing games. At CES they have already had the opportunity to contact Intel, Panasonic, Oculus VR, Unity and Leap Motion, and in March they will be present at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
At Real o Virtual we are very excited about the promise of this glove for use in virtual reality, and even more so being something created in Spain, and although this time it has not been in Murcia, the epicenter of virtual reality in our country ;), it has been in Almeria, so the thing has not been far away. We hope to be able to try it soon to transmit our first-hand impressions (never better said).