In its current state, virtual reality (VR) technology allows users to see and hear other worlds. Some companies are even working on the ability to smell these new worlds. But, while work is also going into haptic technology to provide feedback, being able to feel in VR is something that’s still missing. This is the area that NeuroDigital Technologies is hoping to solve with Gloveone, a new peripheral for VR experiences that has this week launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, seeking $150,000 USD.
As the name suggests, Gloveone is a glove made out of fabric that lines 10 haptic actuators along the user’s fingertips and palm in order to create the sensation of touching objects in VR and feeling their shape and weight. A motherboard rests on the back of the user’s palm and a lipo-battery is fitted to the wrist. Strapping on a head-mounted display (HMD) such as the Oculus Rift and using a hand-tracking sensor such as Leap Motion, players can reach out and take realistic of control.
Examples shown in a Kickstarter video include holding a butterfly, plucking the strings of a guitar, and holding a hand over a virtual fire.
A limited early bird tier on the Kickstarter campaign is offering 50 backers the chance to secure a Gloveone for $170, which is set to arrive in December 2015. Once these are gone, the price will increase to $199. Backer rewards continue all the way up to $10,000, where five backers can head out to meet the Gloveone team in Spain. A number of stretch goals are also listed for the campaign, teasing additions such as support for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4, a multiplatform software development kit (SDK)) for mobile devices and even improved tracking technology.
The campaign is set to come to a close on 10th July 2015. VRFocus will continue to follow Gloveone closely, reporting back with any further updates on the device.