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8.21.19
Immersion

Smart Glove Lets You Grip Virtual Objects

July 19th 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Hard Science
Song et al/Scientific Reports/Victor Tangermann

The Feelies

A new high-tech glove helps make virtual reality more tangible.

The glove not only turns your hand into a sort of controller for VR experiences, but it also provides tactile feedback to trick your brain into thinking you’re actually grabbing whatever it is that your VR headset is showing you, according to research published in the journal Nature on Thursday. Though it’s not nearly consumer-ready yet, the glove could be an important step toward VR that feels truly immersive.

Power Glove

The glove, which the researchers decided to call a “pneumatic actuator and flexible piezoelectric sensor” instead of something cool like “RoboGlove,” sends out an electrical signal that causes the soft material to contract whenever someone “touches” something in VR.

The end result is a device that could help bring VR toward true immersion — Discover Magazine reports that people testing out the system could not only “feel” virtual objects, but could grab and hold them, even feeling their shape as they held them in their hand.

READ MORE: This New Virtual Reality Glove Lets You Grab Digital Objects [Discover Magazine]

More on gloves: New Cyborg Roboglove Will Give You Superhuman Strength