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Published on November 19th, 2021 | by Emergent Enterprise


The Future of VR? Meta Unveils a Haptic Glove Prototype

Emergent Insight:
Virtual reality is, of course, not complete virtual reality. You can’t taste virtual food. You can’t smell virtual scents. And, developers are only skimming the surface on recreating the sense of touch. You have to give our skin, nervous system and brain a lot of credit for all that goes on when we touch something. It’s a wonder! This article at The Daily Mail website by Jonathan Chadwick reports on advancements at Meta (formerly Facebook, get used to it) with haptic gloves. The gloves take advantage of small actuators so that “it can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions.” As amazing as this sounds, it will still fall short of actual touch without delivering sensations such as texture and  temperature. Virtual reality technology is captivating and compelling but REAL reality doesn’t need to worry just yet.

Original Article:
Photo: Meta

Meta (formerly Facebook) has unveiled a haptic glove prototype that lets users feel objects in virtual reality (VR).

The glove, unveiled by Meta Reality Labs, is lined with a series of small air pockets called actuators along the palms and fingers that inflate to create a sense of touch.

Commercializing a haptic glove is part of Meta’s ambition to transform into a ‘metaverse’ – a collective virtual shared space featuring avatars of real people.

Development work on the glove is still ongoing, but once fine-tuned and released to the market, it would allow consumers to tell the difference between holding different materials in the metaverse, such as a plastic pen or a rubber ball.

A Meta spokesperson told MailOnline that the glove is just a research prototype for now and doesn’t have a release date.

Facebook (the company, not the product) rebranded itself Meta in October as part of its new obsession with the metaverse.

In the future, the metaverse will be accessible with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets and smart glasses, and could be used for work, education, gaming and even music events.

The glove will likely be one of several physical products that Facebook sells years down the line to allow consumers to enter the metaverse.

Outlining the glove in a blog post, Meta Reality Labs said it create the illusion of being able to feel the wood of a jigsaw puzzle piece, or the plastic of a computer keyboard as you type.

‘You can feel the click of each keystroke, as well as the edges of the virtual keys on your fingertips, making it as easy as typing on a perfectly-sized physical keyboard,’ Meta Reality Labs says.

The glove is fitted with haptic technology, meaning it can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions.

But vibrations alone are not enough to distinguish between a huge variety of objects that a consumer might come into contact with in the metaverse.

‘To deliver a realistic sense of touch, a haptic glove needs hundreds of actuators (tiny motors) all over the hand, moving in concert in a way that makes the wearer feel like they’re touching a virtual object,’ Meta says.

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The Emergent Enterprise (EE) website brings together current and important news in enterprise mobility and the latest in innovative technologies in the business world. The articles are hand selected by Emergent Enterprise and not the result of automated electronic aggregating. The site is designed to be a one-stop shop for anyone who has an ongoing interest in how technology is changing how the world does business and how it affects the workforce from the shop floor to the top floor. EE encourages visitor contributions and participation through comments, social media activity and ratings.

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