October 13, 2021 – SenseGlove, a developer of force and haptic feedback gloves, has today announced that it has begun worldwide shipping of SenseGlove Nova, a new version of haptic force-feedback gloves designed specifically for professional VR training and research purposes.
Initially debuted as a prototype at CES 2021, SenseGlove Nova features an updated flexible form-factor in combination with haptic technologies and smooth hand tracking that enables users to feel shapes, textures, stiffness, impacts and resistance in virtual reality.
According to the company, Nova’s touch-enabling technology will help to upscale all kinds of VR training programs, such as training to handle hazardous materials, carrying out complex tasks with multiple tools and objects, and learning to design and test physical prototypes. Use cases include VR training, virtual prototyping, research and telerobotics, amongst others.
“Easy-to-use and accessible haptic gloves represent a huge step forward for the VR training industry,” said Gijs den Butter, CEO of SenseGlove. “The usability of the gloves is as important as their technical features, as it delivers natural interaction and allows the ability to scale up the training process, which is why the SenseGlove Nova is lightweight, wireless, compatible with standalone headsets and easy to put on and remove.”
SenseGlove Nova features and specifications, include:
- Improved materials for durability and comfort. Nova consists of two main parts: the soft gloves created with a smart textile material that contains antibacterial fabric, and an electronic part attached to the soft gloves that is produced via injection molding;
- Available in three different sizes, the soft gloves can be detached from the electronics and washed as needed;
- A Getting Started Guide;
- Glove charger;
- Tracker mounts and tools to attach them (for hand detection). For Oculus Quest and HTC Vive headsets, users need to install their controllers/trackers on top of the gloves by using the mounts that come with the Nova gloves (pictured below).
SenseGlove’s proprietary force feedback technology enables lifelike interactions that can emulate the feeling of object density and size by applying resistance through the gloves magnetic friction brakes. The SenseGlove Nova incorporates four brakes dedicated to each finger from thumb to ring finger. Each brake delivers up to 20N of force, which is equivalent to the weight of a 2 kg (4.4 lbs) brick on each finger, according to the company. Different amounts of force are transferred to the gloves’ fingertips through mechanical wires, allowing SenseGlove to enhance training simulations with a wide variety of virtual objects, from robust engines to fragile light bulbs, as well as render the feeling of realistic button clicks and impact simulations, which are important for virtual reality training with tools and dashboards.
According to the company, the previous version of SenseGlove (DK1) has been purchased and applied by more than 150 corporations and institutions, including Volkswagen, Airbus, Scania, Honda, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, the Cambridge University and Fraunhofer. The DK1 is now used for VR research and telerobotics, while SenseGlove Nova is used for training and enterprise solutions.
One of the first organizations to begin testing the SenseGlove Nova was the Royal Netherlands Army, which has been utilizing the device’s force-feedback haptics to create a natural response to assembling complex machinery. Captain Ewoud, Staff Officer Research and Development for the Royal Netherlands Army Simulation Center, stated: “Using regular controllers in VR is an artificial way of interaction, nobody ever pushes the button with their fist. Usually, you push a button with your finger. Grabbing things, moving things needs to be as natural as possible. Adding haptics is the next step in simulated training, and I strongly believe SenseGlove Nova is a good first step in that direction.”
SenseGlove Nova will retail for USD $5,000 for a set of two gloves. Bulk orders of 10 or more Nova gloves are available at a discounted rate of USD $3,500 per set of gloves. The gloves are now available for purchase on the company’s website.
For more information on SenseGlove and its haptic solutions for VR training, click here.
Image / video credit: SenseGlove / YouTube