HaptX comes to market with its first commercially available haptic gloves 1

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Joe Michaels, chief revenue officer of HaptX, tells VRWorldTech that HaptX Gloves DK2 incorporates several features and improvements over previous models

Quick read

➨ HaptX Gloves DK2 are the first gloves with true-contact haptics available for purchase
➨ HaptX uses proprietary microfluidic technology to replicate the feeling of touching real objects
➨ The new gloves are capable of room-scale virtual reality support and multi-user networking

The story

Haptic technology developer HaptX is coming to market with its most advanced haptic feedback gloves yet.

HaptX Gloves DK2 are the first gloves with true-contact haptics available for purchase, according to their developer, making them ideal for a range of enterprise use cases, including training, collaboration and design.

Joe Michaels, chief revenue officer of HaptX, tells VRWorldTech, that HaptX Gloves DK2 incorporates several features and improvements over previous models, after the company spent two years collecting feedback from enterprise customers that were able to lease earlier generations.

Most notably, those enterprise customers wanted more realism from the haptic gloves, or as close to ‘true contact’ as possible.

Michaels tells VRWorldTech: “Vibration feedback and force feedback were not sufficient for their needs. To achieve success with their virtual reality training and design applications, they needed to convince the hands as well as the eyes and ears, so we endeavoured to make the most realistic haptic glove product on the market.”

HaptX uses proprietary microfluidic technology to replicate the feeling of touching real objects. 

Each DK2 glove features more than 130 discrete points of tactile feedback that physically displace the user’s skin up to 2mm.

Together, they are capable of the strongest force feedback currently available, according to HaptX, with exotendons that apply up to 40lbs of dynamic force feedback per hand (8 lbs/35 N per finger).

The gloves also incorporate accurate hand tracking through a proprietary magnetic system that captures 30 degrees of freedom per hand with sub-millimetre precision.

Further refinements made HaptX Gloves DK2 lighter and smaller than earlier models. The new gloves also boast a better fit and ergonomics, and are capable of room-scale virtual reality support and multi-user networking.

HaptX comes to market with its first commercially available haptic gloves 2
Further refinements made HaptX Gloves DK2 lighter and smaller than earlier models

HaptX Gloves DK2 are a haptic peripheral that are finally suitable for HaptX’s enterprise customers to own in their own right.

Michaels says virtual reality-based training and design, along with advanced robotics, are the primary use cases for the new gloves.

One of the big lessons for HaptX during the development of these gloves was that virtual reality must be realistic enough to avoid negative training.

“Realistic touch feedback can mean the difference between negative training—where learners must unlearn their training when they’ve used equipment that wasn’t quite accurate—and successful training,” Michaels explains.

“Realistic touch feedback like ours teaches you the right way the first time. Then you know your job, your hands automatically go to the right location and behave in the right way.”

Michaels also says that military customers have expressed an interest in the haptic peripherals, particularly for training personnel to carry out maintenance and repairs.

Design is also an exciting use case for HaptX Gloves DK2 because better haptics that provide more realistic feedback during the prototyping stage will save “a lot of time and money”, Michaels says.

HaptX comes to market with its first commercially available haptic gloves 3
Design is also an exciting use case for HaptX Gloves DK2

HaptX partnered with Advanced Input Systems to scale up production of HaptX Gloves DK2, and to sell and service the product worldwide.

Michaels calls the partnership a “critical and foundational one” for HaptX. It was struck in 2019 and paired the haptic technology developer with a company that builds human-machine interface products in the medical, industrial, commercial, military and gaming markets.

He says: “Any young hardware company faces questions about who is going to manufacture their products, what their experience level is, and how confident they can be that the end result will be a robust and dependable product.”

“In Advanced Input Systems, we found a partner capable of supporting us throughout. They supported the final design stages, manufacturing, and will help to sell and service the product. They are very much our right hand.”

Michaels says that HaptX and Advanced Input Systems are organising the reseller network for HaptX Gloves DK2 in the coming days and weeks.

Interested businesses can learn more about and request a quote at the company’s website. Although in-person events and meetings are not possible at the moment due to Covid-19, the company will ship devices in certain circumstances for trials and testing.

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Images: HaptX

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