SenseGlove launches new haptic gloves for VR training, bHaptics unveils TactSuit X Series for gaming and entertainment, new Panasonic VR glasses offer slimmed down HMD option, and Vuzix partners with Jade Bird Display to develop next-gen AR smart glasses
SenseGlove launches new haptic gloves for virtual reality training
SenseGlove, a developer of force and haptic feedback gloves, is launching a new version of haptic force-feedback gloves designed specifically for professional virtual reality training purposes.
SenseGlove Nova features an updated flexible form-factor in combination with haptic technologies and smooth hand tracking that enables users to feel shapes, textures, stiffness, impacts and resistance in virtual reality easier than ever before.
The gloves’ level of usability and touch-enabling technology will help upscale all kinds of virtual reality training programmes, such as training to handle hazardous materials, carrying out complex tasks with multiple tools and objects, learning to design and test physical prototypes.
Gijs den Butter, chief executive officer of SenseGlove, says: “Unlike research applications, VR training projects are all about quick implementation. We created SenseGlove Nova—a new glove using stretchable, easy-to-put-on material—specifically for VR training, based on direct customer feedback.”
“The ability to experience digital worlds through intuitive real-world behaviors coupled with a low $5,000 price make the SenseGlove Nova the most accessible device for the future of work and a new sense in VR training.”
Research has shown the presence of realistic haptic interactions and feedback is an integral part of creating compelling and useful immersive virtual environments, where both kinesthetic and cutaneous feedback convey unique information critical to object handling and manipulation.
Famous for its exoskeleton cyberpunk design, the current version of SenseGlove (DK1) is used for virtual reality research and has been on the market since 2018.
It has since been purchased and applied by more than 100 corporations and institutions, including Volkswagen, Airbus, Scania, Honda, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, the Cambridge University and Fraunhofer.
Developed in collaboration with SenseGlove research customers, SenseGlove Nova possesses the features required for virtual reality training: motion-tracking, force feedback, vibrotactile feedback and an updated form-factor that enables the user to easily and quickly put on and take off the gloves.
Malte Hedemann, referent digital realities (virtual and augmented reality) at the Volkswagen Group, says: “The next big step towards truly immersive VR training is to have haptic interactions. Therefore, Volkswagen collaborates with SenseGlove to make this vision of scalable haptic VR training a reality.”
How they work
SenseGlove’s patented force feedback technology enables lifelike interactions, which is crucial for complex task training. The SenseGlove exoskeleton is inspired by the human tendon muscle system. By applying resistance through its magnetic friction brakes, SenseGlove emulates the feeling of object density and size.
The SenseGlove Nova incorporates four brakes dedicated to each finger from thumb to ring finger. Each brake delivers up to 20N of force, which is equivalent to the weight of a 2kg brick on each finger and makes for unparalleled force feedback.
The different amounts of force, transferred to the fingertips through mechanical wires, allows SenseGlove to enhance training simulations with a wide variety of virtual objects, from robust engines to fragile light bulbs.
For the vibrotactile feedback of SenseGlove Nova, SenseGlove has embedded an advanced voice coil actuator technology that allows the Nova to render the feeling of realistic button clicks and impact simulations, which are crucial for virtual reality training with tools and dashboards.
Both the thumb and the index finger have their own vibrotactile actuator, while the voice coil actuator is located in the hub of the glove.
The unique force-and vibrotactile feedback is incorporated into a user-friendly flexible glove, whose haptic features along with advanced motion tracking, compatibility with the latest standalone headsets and scalable pricing make SenseGlove Nova the new standard in professional virtual reality interactions.
SenseGlove showcased the working prototype of SenseGlove Nova at CES 2021 and plans to ship the first pairs of gloves in March 2021.
SenseGlove Nova is currently available for pre-order at an introductory price of $5,000 for a set of two gloves on the SenseGlove website. Bulk orders of 10 or more Nova gloves are available at a discounted rate of $3,500 per set of gloves.
bHaptics unveils TactSuit X Series for gaming and entertainment
bHaptics, a developer of full-body haptic solutions, is offering the brand-new TactSuit X Series along with their other full-body haptic devices.
TactSuit X series, the company’s brand-new wireless haptic vest series for virtual reality, PC gaming, music and movies, includes TactSuit X16 and X40.
TactSuit X40, the flagship device of the company’s full-body haptic solutions, is a consumer-ready haptic vest that packs 40 vibro-tactile motors. The X40 enhances user experience significantly by providing powerful, yet sophisticated haptic feedback in sync with content, using the 40 tactile motors that are evenly distributed throughout the haptic vest.
As a breathable, light-weight version of the TactSuit X40, TactSuit X16 packs 16 of the same motor in the X40 and weighs a little over 2lbs (950g). The TactSuit X16, priced at $299, is the most affordable haptic vest by far.
Both TactSuit X16 and X40 feature the following:
Embedded Haptics: bHaptics TactSuit is a first consumer-ready haptic suit that connects users with the virtual world via contextually meaningful tactile feedback. So far, more than 50 SteamVR and Oculus Quest titles, including top-selling multiplayer virtual reality first-person shooter games, such as Onward and Pavlov, provide native support for the TactSuit X16 and X40. The company plans to continue to work with other titles in order to provide its users with optimised haptic feedback for each game.
Cross-platform Support: bHaptics TactSuit X series features dual connectivity via Bluetooth and audio jack and can be used with not only virtual reality, but also consoles and PC. TactSuit X users can enjoy state-of-the-art haptic feedback and seamless connectivity with or without wires.
Innovative Software Support: Thanks to the company’s audio-to-haptics software, which converts audio output of content into haptic feedback in real time, users can receive audio-based haptics when listening to music, watching movies, or playing PC/console/virtual reality games without native support. Unlike hardware conversion, the company’s audio-to-haptic is controlled by software, allowing users to customise audio-to-haptic conversion parameters, such as frequency bands and thresholds, and create their own setting for different types of content.
New Panasonic VR glasses offer slimmed down HMD option
Panasonic is developing the world’s first high-dynamic range capable ultra-high definition virtual reality glasses.
While conventional virtual reality head-mounted display devices enable a highly immersive, simulated experience, they are often bulky and uncomfortable.
These Panasonic virtual reality glasses boast a comfortable fit and are easy to put on and take off, making users feel as if they were wearing glasses.
Trusted Panasonic audio and visual technologies are embedded into the virtual reality glasses.
These include signal processing technologies cultivated through the development of video equipment such as TVs and Blu-ray Disc players, as well as acoustic technologies of Technics audio products, and optical technologies used in LUMIX digital cameras.
These technologies enabled Panasonic to achieve compact and lightweight virtual reality glasses offering ultra-high-quality images and optimal sound that deliver realistic sensations drawing the user into the images projected before their eyes, while in the comfort of wearing eyeglasses
Features include a stylish design that is compact and lightweight for extended use and portability, as well as high quality audio and video through a high-dynamic range capability and 2.6K micro-OLED panels for each eye.
The glasses connect to 5G mobile devices and PCs and come with inter-pupillary distance and diopter adjustment options.
Vuzix partners with Jade Bird Display to develop next-gen AR smart glasses
Vuzix Corporation, a supplier of smart glasses and augmented reality technology and products, is working with Jade Bird Display, a China-based leader in microLED displays, to collaborate on the co-development and cross-supply of solutions incorporating superbright microLED display engines and waveguides.
Under their multi-year agreement, Jade Bird Display will provide microLED displays and Vuzix will provide newly developed proprietary waveguides and display engine optics to work with these displays.
The complete solutions and components will be sold by both Vuzix and Jade Bird Display to their customers, and both parties have agreed to supply to each other on a priority allocation basis.
Both monochrome and RGB microLED display solutions are actively being developed for use by Vuzix in its next generation smart glasses and for Jade Bird Display customers.
These solutions are expected to be the world’s smallest microLED display engines when commercially released and will utilize Vuzix’s latest ‘monolithic’ single layer waveguides, with both glass and plastic options expected to be available.
For these next generation products, the entire microLED engine (monochrome and RGB) should allow next-generation augmented reality smart glasses to have a virtually indistinguishable look and feel from normal eyeglasses.
These solutions are being developed for smart glasses and sighting systems, simple viewfinders, and just about any near-eye device that needs a low power and high-resolution display.
Dr Qiming Li, chief executive officer and founder of Jade Bird Display, says: “We are very pleased to collaborate and have this joint-supply relationship with Vuzix, who is a longtime leader in optics, display technology and augmented reality products that are a perfect fit to operate with Jade Bird Display’s unique microLED technology.”
“Vuzix and Jade Bird are respective industry leaders, and we look forward to a long and strong partnership with Vuzix.”
Paul Travers, president and chief executive officer of Vuzix, says: “We are very excited about our collaboration with Jade Bird Display, who has demonstrated leading highly efficient microLED technology and production capabilities in microLED displays.”
“This relationship with Jade Bird Display advances Vuzix’s products and serves to further our leadership position in the supply of next generation waveguides and display engine technologies and also supports and helps to grow Jade Bird Display’s markets with fully functional solutions that each of us can sell.”
“We look forward to showing these solutions to the world and seeing them in action come the second half of 2021.”