SenseGlove, a Dutch start-up, showcased its new haptic feedback gloves at the maiden day of Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021.
The product, called the SenseGlove Nova, has been designed to serve professional virtual reality (VR) training purposes. Using a stretchable, easy-to-put-on material, the gloves allow the users to easily feel shapes, textures, stiffness, impact, and resistance in VR.
The company aims to upscale various kinds of VR training programs through its touch-enabling technology. They have the potential to massively increase the effectiveness of these programs ranging from handling hazardous materials to designing and learning physical prototypes.
These gloves draw inspiration from the human tendon muscle system and use magnetic friction brakes to emulate the feel of an object’s density and size by applying resistance. The four ‘brakes’ on the glove, on each of the fingers from the thumb to the ring finger, deliver up to 20 Newton of force each. This force of about 4.4 pounds (two kilograms) of brick on each finger leads to exceptional force feedback.
The past decade witnessed major strides in the development of haptic technology. Fujitsu’s haptic sensory tablet prototype debuted at the Mobile World Congress in February 2014. In 2018, Apple filed a patent for a VR glove with the ability to track one or more fingers during hand movements which was subsequently granted on December 29, 2020. Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS) secured a grant to curate a VR training program for the US Army medics using advanced haptics.
Gijs den Butter, CEO of SenseGlove, discussed the core purpose of the product and said, “The ability to experience digital worlds through intuitive real-world behaviors coupled with a low [..] price make the SenseGlove Nova the most accessible device for the future of work and a new sense in VR training.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has proven the demand for standalone VR training solutions,” he added while talking about the expedited launch of the product.
Talking about the possible industrial application of the SenseGlove Nova, he mentioned the decision of the Ford Motor Company to connect designers for inspecting vehicles from home remotely amid the imminent lockdowns. Volkswagen has already partnered with the start-up to enable scalable haptic VR training at their facility in Hanover, Germany.
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