Teslasuit, a company that specializes in building full-body suits capable of real-time haptic feedback for use in training public safety officers, athletes, and even physical rehabilitation, has now introduced a stand-alone glove that brings the sense of feeling to into the virtual reality world. The glove is initially targeted at advanced robotic tele-control systems and medical rehabilitation, but the side effect is that it could, in the near future, take VR gaming to a whole new level.
The glove features several different technologies that work in tandem to detect hand and figer movement and provide various types of feedback. Each fingertip features a 3×3 haptic display that lets anyone wearing the glove feel virtual textures naturally. This is paired with motion capture and force feedback, as well as biometric systems to track emotional state, stress level, and heartrate.
One example of the Teslasuit Glove’s real-world usability was explained by Emily Carl, a Ph.D. student the University of Texas at Austin in an interview with Spectrum IEE:
There is evidence that computer generated virtual reality is as effective or almost as effective as [live] treatment for anxiety disorders.
This type of device could piggyback current VR-based treatment for certain disorders like Arachnophobia. Currently, this type of treatment is only visual, but with the Teslasuit Glove, someone could actually touch and feel a spider without actually being in a situation they see as dangerous of fearful. The glove can even use the biometric systems to determine with your stress levels are too high and immediately remove the “threat.”
This is great and all, and it’s necessary to explain all of this, as that usefulness could very easily transfer directly into the VR gaming world. Imagine being able to feel the tools, weapons, or other items that you’re grabbing in a VR game. You could, in theory, feel the trigger of a gun or the texture of a rock that you’re climbing. Alternately, pairing it with a complete suit could reall yup the entertainment factor. Imagine playing a game like Mortal Kombat 11 with full-body haptic feedback or actually feel a pinch when you’re being shot in future VR Call of Duty titles.
The Teslasuit Glove might not be for gaming today, but we could very well be looking at the future of gaming. We sure have come a long way since the days of wearing that bulky NES Power Glove, haven’t we?