A new virtual reality glove promises to solve an enduring problem in the world of VR -- actually feeling what you touch.
The Dexmo glove, designed by a team of Chinese and European roboticists, uses a miniaturized force-feedback solution to let users grasp and hold items in virtual reality. Unlike other VR gloves that use vibration motors or electrodes for feedback, the Dexmo employs a mechanical system that applies varying degrees of torque to the fingers.
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The glove's resistance is strong enough, in fact, that it will physically prevent your fingers from passing through "solid" object in virtual reality -- a wall, say. According to the designers at Dexta Robotics, this provides a greater level of immersion than is possible with competing technologies. While other force-feedback systems have been applied to VR gloves, the Dexmo developers are aiming to create a lightweight, inexpensive battery-powered device for consumers and VR enthusiasts.
With an actual mechanical system pulling back on your fingers, an obvious question presents itself -- could the glove cause harm to your hand? Not a problem, say the designers: The maximum force feedback on each individual finger module is limited to less than half the average torque that a human finger can generate, according to the FAQ. If you really want to put your finger through that wall, you can.
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