Feel The Matrix with Gloveone

Thomas Wellburn
June 10, 2015

Spanish firm Gloveone is looking to revolutionise virtual reality with some lightweight, Kickstarter funded gloves that can give the illusion of fully immersed touch.

Virtual reality has come a long way in the past couple of years. With the rise of technologies such as the Oculus Rift and Hololens, the visual and audio sides have been well catered for. As the technology continues to improve, who knows how we might interact with things in the next decade?

One area that hasn’t seen much innovation is touch, or to be more precise, the illusion of touch. Tricking the human body into believing it can feel a real object has always been difficult to implement into wearable technology. Most prototypes have been cumbersome or filled with masses of wires, which makes them less viable as a consumer-based technology.

Spanish firm Gloveone wants to change this by releasing a lightweight, wearable glove that enables the user to touch virtual objects, sensing the shape and weight of them on a fully 3 dimensional plane. The Gloveone will be completely wireless with a quoted battery life of four hours, giving you total freedom of movement. Connecting to devices via bluetooth, the gloves can also be used wired when battery power is low. Great for those long, VR gaming sessions.

The science behind the gloves is very simple and has been used in countless designs before. Actuators sit on each finger and vibrate at different rates, creating the illusion of touch.  However, the glove has an ace up its sleeve in the form of a a 9-Axis inertial measurement unity (IMU) sensor. This tracks the movement of your hands over the virtual object, giving a much more realistic experience than touch sensitivity alone.

If this turns out to be half as good as it sounds, the company could well be onto a winner. Combine this with the Oculus Rift and the potential for VR gaming is enormous. No word on pricing yet, but a $199 donation will net you one Gloveone unit. That seems a pretty generous price for a pre-production model.

The Kickstarter campaign is just over a third of the way to completion, with $57,163 of the $150,000 needed to be fully funded. Head over there to donate if you’re feeling generous.


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