There is no doubt that in the past few years the virtual reality market has grown exponentially, with kits such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive looking to be released in the very near future, the new future of gaming is now nearly upon us. But one thing that was always lacking from the VR dream was physical feedback, being able to see what you were touching but not actually feeling it. Well now a team of students from Rice University have created the Hands Omni, a glove that provides physical feedback to actions committed in a virtual environment and it looking very promising, even in its very bare-bones state.
The glove, which had its development sponsored by Virtuix, a works by inflating and deflating small airbags under the fingers, providing the pressure you’d normally encounter in the real world at some level. The glove also recently won the “People’s Choice” award at Rice’s own Engineering Design Showcase.
Designed to be as unnoticeable to the user as possible, the glove uses a wireless system to give you all the freedom of movement you need, which is quite an issue with current VR systems such as the Oculus, as you are limited in the confines of the cable. The glove also only weighs an impressive 350 grams meaning that you will hardly even notice it, which is pretty handy for not breaking the illusion of virtual reality.
If such a product will soon become readily available for mass production, then we could see virtual reality get a whole lot more physical.
Thank you to phys.org for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Oculus.