Last week, Oculus unveiled Touch, a futuristic controller that combines classic buttons, joysticks and trigger with motion tracking sensors. It looks great, but what if you could go even further? What if you could actually feel the virtual world you were looking at with your own hands?
That’s the concept behind Gloveone. A haptic feedback glove designed to work with a variety of VR headsets.
Gloveone promises to replicate the experience of actual touch. That includes shape, weight, temperature and, of course, force. Hold your hands up to a virtual fire and feel the heat. Run your fingers along a virtual piano and hear the music in your ears.
The design includes 10 actuator motors in the palm and fingers. Each motor vibrates to create the sensation of touch. When it comes to motion tracking, Gloveone relies on third-party products such as Leap Motion, Intel’s RealSense and Microsoft Kinect. The company is also looking into its own alternative down the line.
Gloveone is limited to Windows for now, but there are APIs and SDKs already available for developers. Cardboard VR support is also listed as a stretch goal, meaning it will only happen if the project raises enough extra money beyond its initial goal.
Unfortunately, this VR glove doesn’t come cheap. You can pre-order one for $199 (plus shipping), though it won’t arrive until February 2016. You also order a Gloveone bundled with a Leap Motion for $240 thanks to an ongoing early bird special, or grab two gloves for $395.
Honestly though, this still feels more like a developer-focused product than something meant for consumers. If you’re willing to spend some extra cash on a high-concept virtual reality glove, then here’s your chance. If not, it might be worth waiting a few more years until the price for this kind of technology starts to drop and the category becomes a bit more mature.