The biggest problem with virtual reality, as far as personal experience goes, is that it is virtual. That is: it’s not real. Virtual Reality experience can’t be felt or smelled.
But now a wearable gadget will aim to change all that. Dexmo exoskeleton glove will allow users to touch and feel things in VR.
If this device eventually gets mass produced then it will surely fill the missing piece of the VR puzzle.
Everyone wants to get a piece of the virtual reality technology nowadays. One can’t possibly shrug off the need to fiddle with virtual reality object using hands (or feet).
The Manus VR glove, if everything goes according to plan, will be the first device to free human hands from controllers. But there is a big limit to Manus VR glove: the device will only be able to provide tactile feedback.
In order words, you’ll be able to touch virtual objects but won’t be able to feel the shape or other physical properties of those virtual objects.
Not fun right?
That’s where Dexmo will fill the void. Dexmo, which is a mechanical exoskeleton glove, will track an unprecedented 11 degrees of freedom of motion and will also provide variable force feedback for each of the ten fingers on your hand. Well, eight if you don’t count thumbs as fingers.
Users will be able to squeeze a rubber duck in the VR world using Dexmo and will feel everything that one feels while doing the same in the physical world.
Additionally, the Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove will also be extremely lightweight and will run wirelessly for a considerable period of time.
Granted, the glove does look a bit unwieldy, so it would be interesting to see how the company behind Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove will be able to provide a comfortable experience for the wearer of its product.
The Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove has been developed by Dexta Robotics which is a Chinese startup company and has spent the major part of the last two years developing over 20 prototypes of the same Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove.
The company finally decided on the current version of Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove and unveiled it to the world at a recent event.
Of course, no one will be able to wear the Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove just yet. The device isn’t on sale at the moment.
Aler Gu, the CEO of Dexta Robotics, told Engadget that his company had only made a small number of Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove and was currently trying to attract software developers and Virtual Reality (along with Mixed Reality) market leaders to its product.
The CEO was of the view that these were the kind of people his company wanted to offer its product to since they could take full advantage of Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove.
He further added that Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove would only make it to the mass market after it has been rigorously tested by the aforementioned two groups of people. The Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove could have applications for gaming, education, medicine, and training.
Gu also told reporters that selling the Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove was different than selling consumer electronic because people couldn’t use Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove right out of the box.
Gu also spoke about how he felt that it would take a lot of amazing content for people to realize how gaming-changing this innovation actually was.
The company didn’t reveal much information about the new Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove and there have been no reports on how much the product would cost or when it would be offered to the public.
With that said, the reports about Valve offering HTC Vive’s trackers to third-party peripherals are certainly encouraging since that will allow gadgets such as Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove to make VR much more amazing.
Who knows maybe some day people would find the idea of using VR without these futuristic gloves preposterous.
What About Manus VR Glove
Well, when compared to Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove, the Manus VR glove certainly is at a more advanced phase since the Manus developer kit will be available on sale this year for $250 only.
The Manus VR Glove also looks more streamlined than the awkward Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove.
As mentioned before, the Manus VR glove has promised customers to take handheld controllers out of the equation to let players feel true VR experience.
Players using Manus VR Glove will be able to use their natural hand and finger motions within the confines of the digital space available. The experience will be much more immersive than before since players wouldn’t have to move with the help of controllers.
The Manus VR Glove has already been announced to be compatible with HTC Vive. Something Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove isn’t even close to since no one really knows when will it offered to developers let alone the general public.
As a result of that compatibility, the Manus VR Glove will be able to take advantage of HTC Vive’s Lighthouse position tracking technology. The developer kit for Manus VR glove will be available for pre-orders in Q2 this year and is expected to ship in Q3 this year.
The Manus VR developer kit will include a USB device along with a pair of washable VR gloves and two holders for HTC Vive’s controllers.
Users will be able to mount the two holders on their wrists without much difficulty.
The Manus VR glove will have a battery life of eight hours and will come with a programmable vibration motor which will provide the necessary tactile feedback. Additionally, the glove will also ship with an open-source SDK.
Manus VR is a Dutch company and the team started operations in 2014. The primary aim of Manus VR, from the start, has been to create the world’s first consumer VR glove.
To attract more people to its VR glove, Manus VR also gave a presentation at Game Developers Conference about five months ago.
Those looking for the complete solution should definitely check out neuronmocap.com which offers a complete VR suit. It is on the expensive side but looks promising and already supports technologies such as Unreal Engine, Unit, Maya, 3DS Max, UNiGiNE, and Oculus.
How Will Valve’s Third Party Peripheral Program Help Technologies Such As Dexmo Mechanical Exoskeleton Glove?
Well for one, it would allow gadgets such as Dexmo mechanical exoskeleton glove more exposure to gamers and other relevant enthusiasts.
Users will also be able to make their own VR gadget for fun or even for launching a business.
The development kit included a pair of HTC Vive base stations and a complete set of EVM circuit boards to enable rapid prototyping of any custom-made tracked object.
The development kit also had 40 sensors for custom-made tracked objects which could prove to be useful for objects such as a VR golf club or a drone among many other similar objects.
Valve, through its official FAQ page, wrote that there was no ulterior motive behind the company’s decision of not charging licensing fees.
The only thing anyone who wanted the development kit had to do was to attend a $3000 training session in Seattle and in person.
The classes for the development kit training will start sometime in September and Gabe Newell, founder of Valve Corporation, has come up with his own suggestion and has said that in order to fully benefit from the training, industrial designers along with mechanical and electrical engineers should attend the training in groups rather than individually.
All evidence indicates that the training will commence like a college class with lectures and lab sessions. Those lectures and lab sessions are expected to cover topics such as SteamVR integration, design of custom-made trackable objects and troubleshooting advice.
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