Students take VR to new heights with feedback-enabled gloves

vr-glovesA couple of engineering students from Rice University is taking virtual reality to the next level with a glove that lets you feel what you’re holding onto.

Much of the news regarding virtual reality is centered around our vision, but what makes reality better than virtual is that it tingles all five of our senses—not just our eyeballs.  Picking up a gun and firing it in real life is totally different from popping an alien in a video game.  The experience heightens when we get a true “3D” experience via gadgets like the Oculus, but that in itself is still an incomplete picture.

To make the VR experience even more exciting, some engineering students at Rice have developed a prototype glove that provide feedback when users interact with the virtual environment.  The glove is equipped with air bladders that expand and contract when fingers interact with the glove’s trigger mechanisms.  It weighs around 350 grams, but most of the glove’s weight is shoved towards the wrist area to give users the sense that it’s light enough to make it not noticeable.

The team says their underlying trigger mechanism is easily adaptable should programmers want to implement its protocol into games and other projects.

Source: Rice University