VR Glove a Magnificent Invention to Grab and Feel Anything in Screen
“Our human brains are well known to be vulnerable to be fooled. It doesn’t take much to exploit the weaknesses of our minds, whether it’s optical illusions or more sophisticated trickery. But that’s also what makes virtual reality (VR) systems possible, where technology can effectively transport us to a digital world. And thanks to a newly developed VR glove, the effect could soon be better than ever before.”
The new device has been developed by a team of researchers in Korea, which is fairly much simply what it sounds like: a lightweight, flexible glove that can easily mimic the sensations of digital object movement. The details appear in Scientific Reports today, where the creators describe how to manipulate a " virtual hand" within a digital realm using the glove. Not only for video games and novelty toys, but also for more serious technology, it is a step forward.
VR gloves are not really a brand new technology, but they focus mostly on translating motions into digital commands. Bringing the input flow in the other direction— so that a user can "feel" their virtual world — stay a more restricted technology, typically focused on a sense of texture. That is fairly cool already, but this latest glove actually transmits to the fingertips of a user the details of the form of a virtual object. Like most such handwear, this VR glove utilizes sensors to notify the computer where the virtual hand should go, and motors to give the user’s (true life) handsome sort of feeling. The sensors use piezoelectric technology, materials which, when squeezed, generate an electrical charge. Line the glove with them, and each finger bend and flick generates a measurable electrical pulse that can be translated into virtual hand signals by the software. But the authors invest the most time describing the actuators within the VR glove as they created them specifically for this project.
Basically, each one is a small flat air bubble wrapped in a thin skin of silicone. By using an electrical current to alter the silicone shape, the scientists could force the indoor air into a tighter room that wasn’t popping up, The height of the bubble altered by changing the signal, and they could switch it on and off directly. Maybe it doesn’t sound like much, but the key is that little air bubble. Put them in the fingertips of the VR glove, and suddenly the hand of the user is tricked into thinking something is touching or holding.
The researchers tested their VR glove, which weighs about a third of a pound (just a little more than a baseball) on a simulated knight from a computerized chess board — though the authors actually called it a " chess horse." The efforts were a success; as the real hands of the user closed over the digital object, the motors of the glove mimicked their physical dimensions by properly expanding into the real fingertips.
Not the only user felt the shape of the knight, but he was also able to pick it up and hold it, demonstrating that the motors were able to remain "on" convincingly over time. While this is a fairly cool step, we are not yet at the level of Ready Player One. Only three of the hand’s fingers fit the prototype glove, and each receives only one actuator (which makes sense since they are more than half an inch in diameter). Feeling a sculpture’s finer details is out of the question at the present time. But improving the sensitivity of the glove at this stage, building on the technology created here, should show exponentially. As the researchers demurely put it, " We expect our advanced glove to be used in several ways by connecting with different VR software. Whether it helps to create learning software more immersive, more informative virtual science experiments, or even more realistic video games, this type of VR glove might be the preferred way to fool our minds in the future.