In virtual reality systems, one important aspect is the headset, is the center of the Virtual Reality experience, where you see the graphics, these are processed and directly put in front of your eyes, to have the most immersive experience as possible. However, one of the most important elements that a Virtual Reality system has to consider is also its user interface, in this case we refer to the controls. Many of the current Virtual Reality systems, have been designed to have specific types of controllers similar to versions of the game parts that we are used to in consoles like the PlayStation 4, or the Xbox One.
But in the case of Virtual Reality, since its inception, we have been seeing the element of the extension of the controls in a setting of this kind, and one of the most interesting aspects of the possibilities of Virtual Reality systems is to control them directly with our hands with precise movements. The good new is that today is now no longer a fantasy of the science fiction movies, with a massification of Virtual Reality systems in a number of platforms, like the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, or the Valve Index, we have been observing different types of companies offering various styles of haptic interfaces directly on gloves or control systems united to our hands where to control directly the games with precision and with seamless movements, making the VR experience even more involving as well.
Why the headsets are so cheap but not the gloves?
We have seen an expansion of the VR systems, given that the VR headsets have become more affordable given that projection technology and computational capabilities on the headsets that are integrated, making them more available than ever. However the contrary case has happened with the control systems, even the systems that had their specific controllers come have to deal sometimes with processes where there is a considerable high latency or small response time that does not allow to proper movement or to register specific situations where the user can take simple gestures to actually be reflected directly on the same.
In this specific field with haptic systems and sensors, Virtual Reality is still on a long way to integrate properly headsets to a number of responsive haptic systems in the form of gloves, that actually accessible for the public. We have been just enjoying just the half of the experience of VR as an immersive experience, still the process of perfecting the control systems and the sensors feedback and also to precise movements with our own hands without requiring an external controller has to be improved overtime.
That is why in many VR headselts that cost as low as $200, are still depending on sensors or systems are still a bit rudimentary to be utilized properly. However, there has been considerable advances on how to register movements and how many companies, have started to develop technology that can take into consideration the advantage of haptic systems today. To properly made precise gloves and user interfaces, that are really a step forward that can guarantee in a considerable short amount of time, that they had haptic systems and feedback reactions that can be enjoyed today, will be bundled together with the VR systems, making again changing scenario for Virtual Reality as a complete experience for the demandin user which is looking for an immersive system .
In this article, we are going to show you how far has been going their integration of haptic systems through gloves in VR systems. In each and every one of the examples that we have found out that are the most interesting and also the most functional as well.
But we have to warn you, these options work on an opposite direction of the VR headsets, are still very expensive, or still quite in development, so these are a showcase of what the technology can achieve, and how it has advanced so far.
Sinteluo Hi5 VR Glove. Precise but costly
$2000, let that sink in, however the price might be a bit disconcerting for the majority of us, but it has proven to be one of the most precise examples of how to integrate haptic systems directly to a VR interface available for the main VR headsets that are on the market today.
Having one of the smallest latencies on the market for a VR glove system, with 5 milliseconds, offers an extraordinary amount of time reaction that allows to precise movements, that is not only attributed to that system, every single finger it is individually tracked by the system, and specifically calibrated to have the haptic systems directly fitting information for the VR headset. Also, as well as a difference with other VR glove systems, they are fully integrated to gloves similar to those used by skaters, so the material is breathable and comfortable which makes it fit directly without any obstacle to the fingers of the users.
The system is powered by AA removable batteries, giving an amount of time and duration of the movement registration systems, very comparable to the individual controls of headsets like the HTC Vive. It is the most precise system that is available today, because it is also synchronized with optical tracking systems, that makes the latency as low as possible and precision in the movement as well.
The closest competition for the Sinteluo Hi5 VR Glove, in this case as well using gloves directly, but in this case are completely differentiated from the competition, because they use a tracking system to amount that has the sensors that establishes communication with other six additional sensors, that can really synchronize the movements of the user directly without any possible obstacle.
Having a response time of 30 milliseconds, it is not quite as fast, but offers the same precision and immersion, without having too much specialization on the systems. Also as well the system interface is completely made for being seamless to integrate with haptic interfaces, and additionally was well it is designed to integrate directly with most of the current games are available for the Oculus headset and also the HTC Vive.
One of the other great advantages of this system, is that by using rechargeable batteries, does not depend on the necessity of constantly changing batteries, offering a longer battery life. It is a system that is designed also to be mobile, having their entire mount system easily portable and easy to install closely to the gloves to be effective in its usage.
This system has a very specific difference, it uses a system of 10 recognition sensors for tracking movements directly from the user to the interface, being a more precise system that allows the user to actually feel what it is being grabbed and tracked directly into the game or the virtual reality interface.
The system helps also by having a more precise pressure sensing, also as well is completely wireless so they have a rechargeable battery system that allows to be completely comfortable to the user and easily portable by having it with themselves.
By using the characteristics of sensors and pressure that can be used to detect certain specific types of movements, and can simulate haptic systems to simulate detailed textures, it depends mostly on the software that has being put available to use this technology come but the system made by the company come allows its rapid integration to many software systems.
Also has a latency of 10 milliseconds, which is quite fast for an affordable system, this low latency as with any other VR glove technology allows a very precise time reaction that permits the path of information to the textual systems and detection of movement.
This system offers one of the most direct experience available in the market for simulating movement and having haptic responses. It has 7 systems of tracking movement directly into the fingers, a latency of 10 milliseconds, helped also by an installed rechargeable battery system that gives you 10 hours of operation. This is a VR glove system that is mostly specialized in haptic feedback recognition systems, that offers a very streamlined experience to most of the VR headsets available in the market.
Mostly this is achieved by ditching completely sensors or cameras, and depending directly on measuring sensors directly over the hands of the users, this according to the company eliminates the process of constantly having to calibrate sensors by optic technology format that in many occasions can be imprecise or even ineffective in certain circumstances like not to illuminated rooms, small spaces, or even users with limited range of movement.
Also helps as well that each finger in this system has vibration motors designed for allowing the haptic sensation, and also can response in many games up to 150 frames per second, helping greatly to the registration of reactions of the users by utilizing games that depends on quick responding times.