A pair of gloves, opening a new entrance to the meta universe?
Gloves that have undergone technological transformation may no longer be as simple as warm accessories.
▲ Image source: Meta
In 2014, the well-known VR equipment manufacturer Oculus was acquired by Facebook (the latter has been renamed Meta ), and since then a team called “Reality Labs” has been formed within Facebook, which is subdivided internally Several research teams have been set up, each performing its own duties.
One of the teams focused their development on solving the touch interaction of the virtual world, and now it is very effective. They showed a pair of tactile gloves full of cables and airbags to the outside world yesterday. We have one more piece of the virtual world. Reverie.
How a pair of gloves hold up the meta universe
In the video released by Meta, we can see that there are black protrusions on the inside of the glove. In fact, they are airbags. At first glance, they are actually very scary.
You put on your gloves and head gear and enter the VR world. When you pick up an object in front of you, the airbag will inflate and inflate according to the induction, which will limit the bending of the knuckles, thereby simulating the feeling of holding something in your hand. A vibration motor is built into the fingertips to simulate the sense of touch.
There is a white mark on the back of the glove for motion capture, which means that it is also a controller. The control method may be similar to the empty-handed operation on the Quest 2. It interacts by swinging and closing the palm and pinching the fingers to take on the work of the handle.
In the 1:13 second video, the team members showed us “what kind of experience is like shaking hands, fisting, and stacking in the VR world”. At present, it seems that this pair of gloves looks cumbersome. In addition to the crippled people, it is quite mature, and the application scenarios seem to be quite rich. In short, it can come in handy for all VR applications that have to be interacted with by hand.
I can even imagine playing games in Quest 2 with this pair of tactile gloves.
For example, fishing in Real VR Fishing, the airbag in the palm fills up the palm to simulate the feeling of holding a fishing rod; when a fish is hooked, the motor on the glove will vibrate from weaker to stronger; the glove can even pass through the handle All airbags are filled with air, and your palms are forcibly opened, thereby simulating the feeling of the fishing rod after being released.
▲The picture shows the Real VR Fishing game screen
While Meta disclosed to the outside world the results it has achieved so far, it also “complains” about the difficulties it encountered before.
The first is Soft robotics. The R&D team has considered arranging micromotors on the gloves to create a real touch with subtle and full vibrations, but that will cause heat dissipation problems, so they turned their research and development thinking to microfluidics. Mechanics (Microfluidics), which is the current program.
However, if you want to quickly adjust the air flow in the airbag, you need a high-speed processor that can schedule all of this. The R&D team did not find a suitable one on the market, so they began to research on their own.
How to render the non-existent haptic rendering (Haptic rendering) is also one of the difficult problems facing the team.
After solving these problems, they finally announced the prototype of this glove confidently.
Even though the current tactile gloves are still relatively rudimentary in shape, but with realistic sound effects, the hand touches it creates should be able to easily deceive people’s brains.
I saw a plate, I saw my fingers on the plate, I heard the scratching of my fingers on the plate, and felt the vibration of the handle, then I will tell you that I am rubbing a piece of ceramic plate.
This is when Michael Abrash, the head of the laboratory, recalled the thoughts he had in his mind during his first VR experience, which proved that human perception is very easy to be deceived.
This is very similar to what I felt when I played Beat Saber. When I saw the beam of light moving fast towards me, a hint of tension appeared in my heart. The sense of urgency brought by this virtual scene was no less than a collision in reality. To a wall. If I wear a smart watch to experience it at that time, my heart rate will definitely peak at the moment the beam of light hits it.
▲ Image source: lifewire
So when the hand interaction is sufficiently realistic, this solution can be migrated to a full-body simulation to achieve an oasis suit similar to the number one player.
At that time, when I hit the beam of light in Beat Saber, I might really feel the impact. This is also the field Meta is currently conquering: sensory science.
This is the key to making virtual reality more real.
Using technology to transform gloves, Meta is not the only one
Meta’s haptic gloves under development want to give users a more immersive perception and free the player from the handle.
In fact, it is not just Meta, many game manufacturers have tried to replace the handle with gloves.
In 1977, the first wired data glove Sayre Gloves birth, tied on the back of a section of the flexible tube, through the inside with a light, when the finger is bent, the light flux vary within the fiber, researchers will be able to judge the degree of bend of a finger , This gives the hand movement the possibility of turning into an output signal.
▲ Image source: evl.uic.edu
Later, in 1987, Nintendo launched the Power Glove, which is a peripheral peripheral designed specifically for FC red and white machines. It is regarded as the pioneer of somatosensory devices. However, its control method is too complicated, and the number of games provided is relatively limited. The size of the device is Heavy weight. So Power Glove was gradually overwhelmed by the endless wave of new products .
▲ Intercepted from Gaming Historian video
After the millennium, the concept of VR re-emerged. People rethink the role of data gloves. Gloves can not only convert motion signals into digital signals, which can be used to control computers or game consoles, but they can also reverse the digital signals to generate analog signals to produce tactile sensations. .
This is exactly the idea behind Meta’s launch of tactile gloves, but before Meta, Teslasuit, HaptX, and Dexta Robotics have all launched similar force feedback peripherals. They are more bulky in form. In contrast, Meta’s gloves are lightweight while still Provides a new way of simulating touch.
The meta universe gradually shines into reality
In the past ten years, the fog shrouded in the development of VR has been quickly removed.
The industry started thinking about how to make the high-resolution screen smaller and put it in the VR headset. Immediately afterwards, the entire industry began to work hard to improve the interactive experience, and the last step was to build more good content for users to consume.
Meta has always stuck to it on the way, overcoming the technical difficulties that have emerged in the VR field, and now the market has also given a good response.
Qualcomm CEO Anmeng announced at the 2021 Investor Conference that the cumulative shipments of Meta’s Quest 2 devices have exceeded 10 million units. And this device has been released so far, but it has only been 2 years.
Consumers’ willingness to pay for Quest 2 is a positive feedback from the market. Considering the product strength and price factors, it is indeed the most ideal device for early adopters of VR. In the future, with the blessing of tactile gloves, the experience of Quest 2 will be more complete (we will also launch the evaluation content of Quest 2 in the near future, and friends can leave a message to tell us about the most interesting features).
With the gradual improvement of software and hardware, perhaps the beautiful and avant-garde virtual world described by Meta will soon be reflected in reality.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/wearing-this-pair-of-gloves-we-can-touch-the-metaverse/ Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.