A wide range of tracking adapters and impressive hardware could make the Plexus the next big haptic glove.
Developed as part of Y Combinator’s most recent class of start-ups, Plexus Immersive Corp’s haptic gloves are an intuitive new solution to VR & AR control that utilize a generous selection of compatible baseplates to work cooperatively with most major VR controllers.
Using a combination of flexible, high-quality silicon and proprietary sensor technology, the company promises a comfortable experience with tracking capable of 0.01 degrees precision. Linear resistant actuators (LRAs) placed at the ends of each fingertip provide realistic haptic feedback for the user. There are also murmurs of force feedback technology supposedly being implemented into a future model. 21-degrees of freedom allow the user total control over their movements and gestures, bringing a much more intimate feel to your next VR experience.
While the gloves themselves take care of the finger-tracking, their sleek size unfortunately meant relegating the duties of positional tracking to preexisting tracking solutions. Luckily, the Plexus gloves include interchangeable magnetic tracking adapters compatible with VR devices such as the HTC Vive wands, Vive Trackers, Oculus Touch and Windows MR controllers.
“Unfortunately building the tracking solution directly into the glove as you suggest would be impractical as the silicone is soft and stretches,” spoke the company in response to one Reddit user’s concerns. “The various tracking systems depend on the sensors or LEDs being in a static arrangement so if they were to move with the stretch of the glove they wouldn’t work. This is why we mount the tracker separately.”
The company is also working on their own proprietary tracker dubbed the “halo.” While not yet available to developers, the company claims this custom alternative features a much more ergonomic design and better tracking stability when mounted on the hand. Take a look at the full specs below:
Measurement System: 21 Degrees of freedom per hand
Tactile Feedback: 5 (one per finger) tactile actuators
Wireless: 2.4GHz Custom Low Latency Protocol
Compatibility: Unity, Unreal Engine, C++, C#, Python
SDK: Unity and Unreal Engine haptic rapid application development toolkit, including drop in haptic hand rigs and interactive objects ready to use with developer artwork assets
Compatibility: VR Integration / tracking options: Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality. Can be used with any Windows, Linux or Mac environment through the C++ and Python API
Battery life: 2 to 3 hours depending on feedback usage
Refresh rate: 180 hz, engine synchronized for VR
Plexus Immersive is currently taking pre-orders for Dev Kits at $249 per pair over at www.plexus.im. Shipments are expected to begin August of this year with a consumer model planned for release later next year.
Image Credit: Plexus Immersive Corp.