Dutch haptic VR glove company SenseGlove has released a high-end glove device promising to let you feel the “size, stiffness, and resistance” of VR objects, with SenseGlove recently receiving 3.25 million Euros ($3.6 million) in a new funding round.
The company’s main product, the SenseGlove Nova, is already on sale, costing 4,999 Euros ($5,500) plus VAT, so it is very much aimed at the professional clients rather than home use. However, the high-spec nature of the device and its ability to bring vivid touch sensations to the wearer is sure to be looked at for potential intimacy use.
Haptic gloves for VR use have been available for a good few years, mainly aimed at gamers looking for more immersive experiences. However, the Nova’s touch abilities put it far beyond the cheaper models common in the VR gaming market.
The device is billed as an alternative to hand-held controllers, with SenseGlove claiming the Novas allow you to “hold, push, touch, connect, and squeeze the virtual like it is real”. The company has now received a total of 5.5 million Euros ($6.1 million) in outside funding, after recently raising 3.25 million Euros in a new investment funding round.
The gloves apply resistance to the wearer’s hands through magnetic friction brakes, simulating the feeling of size and stiffness. Each finger of each glove has four ‘brake’ sections, each capable of delivering force to the human finger. The company said that each brake can deliver the equivalent force of a two kilogram brick on a finger.
They are also able to render the feeling of sensations such as button clicks, vibrations, and impacts.
The company said: “The different amounts of force, transferred to the fingertips through mechanical wires, allows SenseGlove to enhance training simulations with a wide variety of virtual objects, from robust engines and tools to fragile light bulbs.”
Rather than gaming, the gloves are mainly designed for professional use such as for training emergency first-response or maintenance staff, capturing data during VR research, or for multi-sensory journeys for customers.
One company already using the gloves is car manufacturer Volkswagen, which has used them for training, to help minimize risk of damaging car parts by using VR.
Don’t expect the SenseGlove Nova to be used for massaging virtual breasts for a while, but where there’s a will there’s a way and all that.
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