There’s little doubt that VR gloves are the next step toward to full immersion in a virtual world. They allow us to press buttons, explore weapons, open objects and much more besides all whilst we are immersed in our virtual worlds.
The VRfree glove system from Sensoryx comes as a pair of fingertip-less lightweight gloves with an HMD head-mount to attach to your existing VR headset (such as the Oculus Quest/Rift S/GO, HTC Pro, Vive Cosmos/Focus and others). The system has six types of sensors that are integrated fully into the gloves and head module. This means that your fingers and hands are tracked in the 3D space without the need of a third-party tracker.
There’s a low latency (<30ms) localisation giving true mobile operation and high accuracy. It tracks hand movement from beyond the user’s field of view. The battery has a long life and there are multi-user capabilities. The gloves are also unobtrusive and light in weight.
We strapped the triangle-shaped sensor to our headset’s front, and were ready to go. We didn’t really notice any weight difference either, which was pleasing. When we switched it on we had to calibrate it first, which was a little tricky and confusing to get through at times. I spent some time drawing with my index finger and I kept getting the voice telling me “Hey! That’s pretty rude!” - I think it thought I was attempting some lewd gesture!
We tried out a few different movements and interactions. First of all, I stood in a kitchen set up by the side of the kitchen sink. Reaching out with one hand, I managed to turn on the tap by grabbing it with my hand and performing a twisting movement and out came the water! Next up, I grabbed a glass and filled it with water.
Next up, I grabbed a glass and filled it with water. It worked effortlessly and felt great. The tracking was clear and responsive. The sensors were light, and after a while I barely noticed I was wearing gloves at all. But it was a little cumbersome to get used to and we had to calibrate it quite a few times at first. The demos are really well thought out, allowing you to test your capabilities; eating a virtual meal, and even typing out a few words on the virtual keyboard.
The next part of the demonstration included playing the piano, which was fab! It allowed me to see the tracking of each finger. Of course, no demo is complete without shooting guns! I grasped the virtual gun and then just pulled my trigger finger. The tracking wasn't quite precise due to the fineness of the movements, but if deliberate movements are made, then the gun fires when you want it to. If this were the only function the glove has, then it would still be pretty impressive.
Unfortunately, these gloves don’t have a plan for haptic tracking. Sensoryx want to focus their game on tracking fingers and hands first and foremost. So, if you want feedback and vibration effects, these gloves are not really up to what you’re looking for. Regardless of this, however, the VRfree gloves were impressive and clearly have a place in the market.
Have you tried or own the VRFREE Glove System? Leave us some feedback in the comments section below...
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