Home » Haptic gloves for Quest 2 are a smaller move towards VR you can touch

Haptic gloves for Quest 2 are a smaller move towards VR you can touch

Haptic gloves for Quest 2 are a small step toward VR you can touch

The Senseglove Nova haptic gloves are developer-centered, but they display the extremely beginnings of what long run VR extras could be.

Scott Stein/CNET

My incredibly initially attempt at striving house VR haptic gloves was uncomfortable. I stretched a pair of knitted gloves more than my fingers, altering little plastic suggestions, delicately screwing in holsters on the backs of huge, plastic battery packs. I slotted Oculus Quest 2 controllers into slots about my gloves. Then, for a number of minutes I was choosing up robotic components, pushing buttons and pulling levers in VR — and in a strange way, I felt minor cables pulling again on my fingers, virtually like puppet strings. I felt a clicking form of resistance, as my fingers brushed a virtual soda can and crushed it. I could really feel a semblance of what I was accomplishing with my fingers.

The Senseglove Nova haptic gloves I wore are totally not for each day Quest 2 proprietors. To start with of all, the gloves cost about $5,000. And second, they do not perform with any of the Quest’s normal applications and online games. I experienced to sideload a demo application designed to operate with the gloves, which could be Bluetooth paired to the Quest 2 immediately after I place it in developer method. The gloves are mainly created for Home windows VR and AR headset users, but can also get the job done with Quest headsets.

But the gloves carry up a single of the weirdest problems in VR suitable now: How do new controls evolve to develop into one thing every person can come across valuable and in fact get do the job carried out with?


You can see how the small cables cause resistance and haptic feed-back, together the backs of my fingers.

Scott Stein/CNET

VR extensions for your arms

The recent VR landscape is loaded with enjoyable gaming headsets that won’t be able to be worn for incredibly extended, geared up with controllers that look like activity console gamepads for your wrists. The Quest 2 controllers are what most VR controllers look like and — while they have analog sticks, buttons, and even observe a little bit of finger movement — they’re made for online games and it’s possible exercise, not perform. Hand monitoring without having controllers now works with the Quest 2 and some other VR and AR headsets, but with out any physical inputs, specific controls are nevertheless hard to pull off. Microsoft’s Hololens 2, many years previous previously, only takes advantage of hand tracking. Its designer, Alex Kipman, sees actual physical opinions like vibration as a needed following stage.

Fb mum or dad corporation Meta feels the identical way and has currently detailed long term investigate efforts to make wrist-worn haptic suggestions wristbands that can perception neural inputs, as effectively as much larger-scale haptic gloves that use air bladders to create a perception of touch. Organizations like HaptX currently make advanced haptic gloves that develop a range of tension sensations, but the gloves cost tens of countless numbers of bucks. I’ve hardly ever tried using HaptX gloves (I hope to). The Senseglove Nova is the closest I’ve gotten so considerably.


Unpacking the Senseglove Nova gloves at home.

Scott Stein/CNET

The Senseglove Nova delivers the cost down (comparatively) and they are wireless, anything that other much larger-scale haptic gloves usually are not. They use a combination of tiny cords that pull back on my fingers as I transfer them, simulating resistance and vibrations that sense like the buzzes on any smartwatch, telephone, or sport controller. The gloves arrived in a minimal briefcase, shipped to my property. They are unusual, a little bulky, with a several hand-fastening clips. They feel like ski gloves with battery packs and components knitted in.

The gloves continue to require VR controllers to incorporate proper movement sensing: The Quest 2 controller brackets I included are like very little plastic loops that the Touch controllers slide on to. The gloves feel a little large and weird with the controllers on. Also, setting things up effectively and launching the application means using the gloves off and on, or inquiring another person for help.


Controller adapters are wanted for tracking on Oculus and Steam VR, which bulks the handwear up a little bit.

Scott Stein/CNET

Does it come to feel like touching items? Type of, not definitely, often

As I access out to seize objects in the application, it’s a common emotion based mostly on my previous Oculus working experience — after all, basic hand tracking does very similar things. The change comes about when I make speak to with virtual matters. I sense a pulling on my fingers, like a puppeteer pulling my finger’s marionette strings again. Moreover, a clicky form of vibration. It can both sense glitchy, or like creating call. The synchronization with in-globe objects is not generally best in my temporary demo.

It isn’t going to really feel like I can “feel” the edges of issues, or the nuance of an object. If I were blindfolded, I would have no concept what any of these sensations even meant. It truly is developed now to be far more of a valuable comments technique for the in any other case sensation-no cost environment of hand tracking. Working with the Quest controllers for monitoring also increases the tracking accuracy about using in-headset cameras to search for your fingers and fingers.


The gloves up coming to a Quest 2 as well as Quest controllers: a bunch of equipment!

Scott Stein/CNET

How will something get far better shortly?

In VR, my largest worry for points like “operate” or making use of headsets as a type of keep an eye on-extension for my computer system is… can factors get much better than those clunky controllers? Putting them down and swapping to hand monitoring is effective, but is not best. 

Companies like HTC have wrist-worn Vive Wrist Trackers coming this year that will operate to enrich hand monitoring in VR, but they are created for business enterprise use and you should not have any vibrating haptics. Facebook/Meta’s wrist trackers for AR/VR might nonetheless be yrs away. Employing experimental get the job done applications like Horizon Workrooms, which admirably attempted to map my laptop computer keyboard and exhibit into VR, can work… often.

Haptic gloves are a VR aspiration as previous as the 90s cyberpunk textbooks I read through as a child, or each individual Completely ready Player 1-alike VR future utopia/dystopia. That explained, I was high-quality with using the gloves off once more soon after a handful of minutes of demoing, gently wiggling my fingers out of the knitwear, careful of the areas concerning the plastic and cables. We are not there but. But units like the Senseglove Nova are exhibiting the struggles nevertheless ahead in locating the right way to figure it all out.