The VR gloves that will let you type and shoot spider webs from your hands.
Oculus wants your AR/VR experience to not only be a 360 immersive visual experience that includes real time head tracking and full immersive audio during your VR experience, but would also include real time hand tracking as part of the virtual and augmented experience.
During his recent visit to the company research lab in Redmond, WA today; Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg recently posted photos of himself using a prototype glove that can be used in a AR/VR environment to emulate your physical hand movements in real time. Zuckerberg posted on Facebook, “We’re working on new ways to bring your hands in virtual and augmented reality. Wearing these gloves, you can draw, type on a virtual keyboard, and even shoot webs like Spider-Man. That’s what I’m doing here.”
Oculus hopes that the glove project, which is being led by Michael Abrash along with his team of designers and engineers, will bring the users hands into the virtual and augmented reality environment so that the user will have a more realistic immersive experience in the end.
Zuckerberg writes, “The goal is to make VR and AR what we all want it to be: glasses small enough to take anywhere, software that lets you experience anything, and technology that that lets you interact with the virtual world just like you do with the physical one.”
From the photos posted by Zuckerberg, it appears that the VR gloves seem to connect to the Oculus headset wirelessly and are using a high-speed, low-latency tracking system from OptiTrack rather than the Oculus sensor system. This is most likely so Oculus can test the gloves immediately versus having to build the gloves and a tracking system at the same time.
Oculus has been making some pretty big investments as of late to push the VR/AR experience. The company recently purchased a hand tracking startup company called Pebbles Interface, which was working on a technology that could help with the advancement of VR gloves.
Though there are some third-party companies out there working on VR/AR gloves and haptic feedback gloves such as Dexmo and Manus, Oculus is the first of the big VR companies to publicly mention them. And yes, the gloves are just prototypes, but it shows us that Oculus is committed to pushing this technology, even after announcing the winding down of 200 of its Best Buy Oculus demo stations.
Giving the user the ability to have real time hand movement in VR opens a lot of possibilities in VR gaming, but I feel this technology could have an even larger impact in the industrial and machine operation training world. Imagine individuals being able to go through assembly training or machine operation training in a VR environment before hitting the actual floor. It could open a lot of possibilities to speed up training time and productivity.