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Haptx is launching the Haptx Gloves G1, a new pair of gloves to take advantage of the metaverse. The meat and potatoes of the company’s products are VR-capable gloves, replacing the need for handheld controllers. The new peripheral is launching at $4500 USD – a fraction of the price of the Haptx Gloves DK2.
Most of us, when we think about VR, think about gaming applications. But Haptx is approaching things from a different direction. When the company is designing its peripherals it’s coming at things from a work perspective.
The Haptx Gloves G1 are an upgrade to previous versions, offering a whole bunch of new features. The gloves have an increased ergonomic design, and they come in multiple sizes. No more one-size-fits-all for people like me to deal with, when what we need are big gloves for giant hands. The new setup also offers wireless mobility, new and better haptic functionality and multiplayer collaboration.
“With HaptX Gloves G1, we’re making it possible for all organizations to leverage our lifelike haptics,” said Haptx boss Jake Rubin, in a statement to GamesBeat. “Touch is the cornerstone of the next generation of human-machine interface technologies, and the opportunities are endless.”
The gloves leverage the best advances in material sciences and modern manufacturing techniques to make a comfy fit. The Haptx Gloves G1 fit and feel like a conventional glove, instead of like a bulky device. The digits, palm and wrist are soft and flexible to make sure a user’s dexterity isn’t hampered.
Inside the gloves are hundreds of microfluidic actuators which physically push against and displace your skin. When you interact with virtual objects, you can actually feel it happening.
The haptic feedback is powered by a backpack-like device called the Airpack. The Airpack generates compressed air and precisely controls its flow. Compressed air devices are usually pretty loud, but the Airpack is quiet enough to be unobtrusive inside VR. The device can run for 3 hours on a single charge and can either be worn on the back, or placed on a table.
The Haptx Software Development Kit is where the real magic happens. The SDK is designed to make it easy for developers to incorporate realistic touch functions in their applications. It’s aiming for pretty wide coverage – enterprise or industrial scale developers shouldn’t have any problems. It’s also got plugins for both Unreal, Unity and a C++ API.
The Haptx Gloves G1 SDK is sporting some new and improved features, too. Developers get to play with advanced vibrotactile feedback for simulation of microscale surface textures. There’s also the new multiplayer feature, which lets multiple users all collaborate on the same objects in the same simulation.
Telerobotics operators can use an ROS node to connect the gloves to robots, for natural control of robots and effectors.
The Haptx G1 Gloves are currently available for pre-order. Individual pairs are priced at a crisp $5495 USD. A bundle of all four sizes is running $4500 per pair. The G1 Gloves also require the Haptx Subscription Program, which provides an Airpark and the SDK. It’s $495 per month per set of gloves.
Haptx is aiming to ship in the third quarter of 2023.
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