When VRFocus tested the HaptX Development Kit (DK1) gloves during CES 2020 they were some of the most tactile and responsive we’d come across. Today, the company has announced the launch of the HaptX Gloves DK2, the first commercial product the haptic specialist has released.
No longer a prototype shared with companies and shown at tech events, HaptX’s new gloves are thanks to several years working to reduce the size and weight, improving ergonomics, enabling room-scale VR support as well as a partnership with Advanced Input Systems to scale up production.
Where HaptX differs from its rivals – which use vibrating actuators – is in its microfluidic technology with each glove containing 133 tactile actuators which can gently press your skin up to 2 mm. The gloves also feature force feedback so they can apply up to 40 lbs. (35N per finger) of resistive force to make digital objects feel real. For comparison, SenseGlove Nova delivers up to 20N of force per finger.
“HaptX Gloves DK2 might be the closest thing to attaining real-life superpowers. It marks a leap forward in what’s possible with VR, XR, and robotics technologies,” said Jake Rubin, HaptX Founder and CEO. “Fortune 500 companies and governments around the world use HaptX Gloves to train their workforces. Automakers design and test new vehicles with them. Companies use them to control robots intuitively from a distance. The possibilities are virtually endless.”
As the HaptX Glove DK2 is primarily designed for commercial use, whether that’s for training purposes or for designers to touch and try out 3D models, precision tracking is highly important. So the gloves have a: “proprietary magnetic system which captures 30 degrees of freedom per hand with sub-millimetre precision,” HaptX notes.
“We’ve shared earlier versions of HaptX Gloves with thousands of companies and VR industry leaders and incorporated their feedback in designing DK2,” said Joe Michaels, Chief Revenue Officer of HaptX. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased demand for this technology. Remote work environments reveal the need for virtual training and design tools. Technology companies are increasing their investment in telerobotics. We’re proud to launch HaptX Gloves DK2 to meet this demand.”
The demand for responsive gloves for VR and other use cases continues to grow, especially as more companies invest in immersive tech. Some like HaptX, SenseGlove and Teslasuit are going for entire force feedback systems whilst Manus, BeBop Sensors and others offer a less complicated approach to hand tracking. For further updates from HaptX, keep reading VRFocus.