One of the limitations of AR & VR is the unintuitive and unnatural way a user’s hands interact with the mixed reality setting. Some devices use hand gesture tracking, some require a physical controller, but none are intuitive or comfortable.
The sense of touch in AR or VR systems has been a vital research dilemma that academics and businesses have invested money and time solving it.
For some time now, Apple has been teasing their AR & VR tools, and recent news indicates that they are also looking to overcome the touch problem.
Apple recently announced a new patent concentrating on interactive touch in AR and VR, which further cements the company’s investment in the technology.
Apple in 2015 acquired Metaio, a company that invented what they called “Thermal Touch.” The tech works on the principle that when users physically touch objects, they heat up even in minuscule amounts.
Apple has successfully obtained a “continuation-in-part” application, which shows more data on the subject matter. With recent funding, there is a possibility for this technology to become more realized.
The implications of the new tech could be transformative for augmented reality by perfectly portraying the physical world digitally. Moreover, the interaction would be done naturally for users working singularly on natural touch.
Facebook has also been active in the touch space for some time now as it continues to innovate. In March, Facebook uncovered what their future direction was for control and touch in AR & VR.
Facebook is planning for users to wear a specific strap on their wrist to manipulate and control their virtual environment. The strap claims to use EMG (electromyography), where sensors turn electrical signals from motor nerves into digital commands.
While both Apple and Facebook are taking different roads towards control and touch within the AR & VR space, both are innovating the touch area to a great extent.
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