Remember the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report? Putting aside the slightly unbelievable “pre-cognition” aspects of the movie plot, science fiction and popular media has slowly been teasing us with the possibilities of new technologies, and the scene in this movie where Cruise’s character uses a VR glove to command huge amounts of data easily and intuitively is really one of the most tantalizing looks into VR even before the PC -based VR solutions were on drawing boards.
The Senso glove is a virtual reality input device that promises single-finger fidelity without the need of external sensors (such as the Rift camera or the Vive’s base station). It utilizes 7 individual IMUs (Inertial Measurement Unit) “that offer absolute 6DOF positional tracking without any standalone solutions”. Small motors for vibration in each finger are also included, plus the battery and circuitry to make sense of the inputs.
VR input accessories other than the Vive wands or the Rift’s touch controllers aren’t new – there’s been much effort over the past year to get to a commercialized state for these accessories. The Dexmo powered glove, the AxonVR and Teslasuit full body haptic devices, all aim to add immersion by adding a sense of reaction or interaction with the virtual space that you can only currently see and hear, and “touch” imperfectly, through vibration feedback.
While there’s a limited amount of interaction possible using current technologies, these accessories are aiming to bring interaction to the next level. Senso presents an interesting proposal for individual digit sensing, and here’s to hoping the research and funds pouring into the product will bear fruit in the near future.