Until now there was talk of virtual reality and it seemed that this was the latest technology. The landscape has changed radically as the metaverse acquires (not literal) corporeality. Facebook – now Meta – continues to work on that alternative digital universe, this time with a haptic glove prototype that allows you to feel VR objects.
This Is One of The Company’s Most Ambitious Projects
For which it has been working for seven years. Its purpose is to reproduce in real life the sensations of what is happening in that other world, such as grasping an object or running your hand over a surface. The gauntlet has yet to leave the find telephone number in Thailand Reality Labs research division, but it has been shown for the first time. The company sees this device, along with other wearable technologies, as the future of virtual and augmented reality interaction.
Simplifying, it is a glove lined with 15 inflatable plastic pads known as actuators. These are adjusted to the palm of the hand and the bottom and the tips of the fingers of the person, apart from functioning as a control. The back features small white markers that allow cameras to track movement in space. It also includes internal sensors to capture how your fingers bend.
As the user enters the glove experience, a control system adjusts the level of inflation. Creating pressure on different parts of the hand. For example, when touching a virtual object with the fingertips. We will feel the sensation that the object pressed against the skin. When grasping a virtual object, the finger receptors will stiffen, offering a sensation of resistance.
Facebook advances in the development of this haptic glove aimed at the consumer
Facebook has been working on this technology with tiny air valves since it acquired the startup Oculus VR in 2014. The idea of the now known as Meta is to mass-market those haptic gloves. Since its Quest system is totally consumer-oriented. This, added to the millionaire investment in the construction of the metaverse. Makes it more likely that it will reach the user level than in the case of other manufacturers of haptic devices. More aimed at military, industrial or academic institutions.
However, there are still many barriers that separate the consumer from haptic gloves. For one thing, it requires a drastic increase in the density of glove sensors, which should be in the hundreds or even thousands. At the moment, the gloves provide a sense of the contours of the objects, but the textures are not yet concretely noticeable. “You could pet a dog, but you wouldn’t feel the texture,” says Katherine Healy, an engineer at Reality Labs. “You need a high-density reaction to really get that feeling, and this glove doesn’t do that,” she says.