Manus have brought out a range of VR reality gloves - the Prime series - with each offering different qualities and experience within the VR worlds available. Manus represents significant competition for other brands with VR gloves, especially with its Prime Haptic gloves. The Prime Haptic is the Manus flagship product in this Prime series.
The Prime Haptic glove is, as its name suggests, a haptic glove, meaning it offers physical sensory elements and responses as well as simply transmitting hand and finger motion into VR. This glove has linear resonant actuators, which give unique signals and haptic feedback depending on the material type and the amount of virtual force the wearer applies. This haptic feedback can be customised in the user’s interface. The material can be adjusted, as can the frequency, resonance and signal strength.
All Prime Haptic gloves come with Apollo Haptic GUI software suite and driver. The haptic feedback allows the user to sense touch in VR, increasing their immersion in the world. When it is combined with sight, the brain processes more information together and makes virtual acts all the more vivid, realistic and smoother.
Prime Haptic gloves are compatible with any headsets that use SteamVR such as HTC’s Vive and Vive Pro. It offers full tracking of the fingers as well as the hand, with individual haptic sensors for your thumb and each finger.
On our visit to VR Days Europe 2019 we had the opportunity to interview Serdal Yeter, who explained the technology and benefits of the Manus VR Prime Haptic glove.
When you first get the Manus Prime Haptic gloves they look a little unwieldy, thanks to the Vive Tracker on the back and the cables that run along the fingers. There are two fastening straps – one at the lower palm, the other on the wrist - which make them feel snug and they don't wobble about as you might have thought they would.
They are easy to set up and you don’t need training to use them, as there aren’t any buttons to press. It’s as simple as slipping a glove on and using your hands as you normally would. There’s a dashboard on the Apollo software for easy calibration, which usually takes less than a minute. You can create individual calibration profiles for different users, but for some, it will take longer, as you need to make sure every part is working as it should. Each hand needs to run through certain gestures to get used to the user's individual movements, like opening the hand, making a fist, or gun fingers. This is done on the monitor, not with the VR headset. This was extremely accurate without any lag at all.
Slightly odd is the position of the haptics. They are on the backs of the fingers, near the nails instead of under the fingertips like you might have expected. It felt a bit strange to begin with, but you soon get used to it. The actuators give you the feeling that there’s an object there and you only need to grab something lightly to get a good grip.
The gloves have open fingertips – it seems that the developers have thought of everything in today’s world of smartphone obsession! The lack of fingertips didn’t detract from the accuracy of any pinching movements.
The Prime One is the basic core of their series. It is a wireless glove that tracks fingers in two joints, the top joint and knuckle of each finger, so there’s a total of 12 sensors. It streams its data directly to Unreal, Motionbuilder or Unity as well as some other large software platforms. It is compatible with HTC Vive.
The Prime One only needs calibrating once and will remember calibrations for future use. The glove is designed to be comfortable and breathable. This is a Plug-in-and-Play style glove and was designed to be as simple as possible.
This glove from Manus is designed to integrate the user into a motion capture suit, to add the hands and finger information on IMU suits. The Xsens suits are perfect for character animations in 3D, for analysing motion, and other uses in the industry.
This glove is also designed for comfort and to be breathable for the user. The glove tracks thumb and finger orientation at the top joints and knuckles as well as full hand orientation. This is the ideal glove for professionals in the animation industry. It can be used with the Xsens MVN system and offers data that’s production ready.
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