I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
“Virtual Reality, an immersive world that allows us to live lives we’ve never thought possible. Not only do they help us interact with our new worlds but they also help us interact with our own.”
All are subject to rules that the programmer(s) set out as foundations for these worlds. In order to bring us into them, we have different gear that appeals to our dominant senses; sight, sound, and touch. For sight and sound, we have VR headsets. For touch, we have specially designed VR gloves that act as a wearable interface.
Best VR Gloves Available On Markets
We’ll take a look at 10 best VR gloves picks to let us feel the world we temporarily inhabit .
What started as a tool to help rehabilitate stroke victims, has turned into a wearable interface for smart devices. Over five years of product development, private investment, and a successful Kickstarter campaign has given birth to this multi-device interface. Not only are you able to connect this glove to your smartphone, PC, and smart TV, but you can also connect it to your drone. So you can go from playing your favourite first-person shooter game to doing recon work for landscaping.This is a glove that is targeted at the average user. IT’s rather inexpensive, simple to use, and does just what you need it to.
Its creators have made their intent to add Haptic feedback features known. As for now though, this severely limits the user’s immersive experience. It is a cut above joysticks but still far from replicating real life. The glove is also not tracked by any outside device and it has difficulty tracking grand hand gestures. It works best with more controlled movements which could feel limiting to users. That being said, this is a great step in the right direction and has immense potential. The glove is designed to last and that means updates and repair work can be done without having to purchase a new glove altogether.
|Plug and Play|
|Touch screen compatible|
|Cross platform compatibility|
|Energy saving & Wireless|
From training simulations to VR arcades, to motion capture; this glove does it all. With a comfortable design and waterproof casing, this glove was created with users in mind. Its fingertip-less design is not only optically appealing but it also allows users to handle objects while wearing them. Let’s take a look at how it works.
Each finger has a couple of sensors to track motion while the thumb has an extra one to measure its rotation. The water resistance allows these gloves are washable so you can keep them looking as good as new for longer. While you’re immersed in your virtual reality, your arms come with you. Wrist tracking allows your arms to take part in the virtual world.
A truly interactive experience would be held back by cables so the designers ensured that this wouldn’t be a problem by making it wireless. Its latency of 5ms means that your instructions will be read in virtually real-time (excuse the pun). This glove is also capable of providing feedback to the user which makes it more interactive with a few vibrations here and there. Bosch equipment means each glove is chock full of technology to measure the orientation of your hand. With low computational requirements, this glove will take almost no resources away from your PC or mobile device. As for its battery life, it can last for 3-6 hours of extensive use.
|Full finger & arm tracking|
|IMU sensor technology|
|Low computational requirements|
|Low battery life|
When Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself wearing these white gloves, the VR world became curious. As it turns out, these retro looking gloves are a force to be reckoned with. A video of it in action has shown the world just how interactive these gloves can be. The wireless design makes for a better experience and it seems to have a very low latency period which makes it quite the competitor in its market. This shouldn’t be surprising from one of the most influential companies in the VR industry.
The gloves are tracked using cameras which makes it special impractical and rather inconvenient price wise. The reason for this, according to their chief scientist Michael Abrash, is because our hands have 25 degrees of freedom which makes it difficult for accurate tracking without cameras. The crispness in the video demonstration shows us that he clearly knows what he’s talking about.
|No specs out as yet|
Fingertip-less gloves and an HMD mount come as a pair with these gloves. With a range of 6 different sensors connected to the HMD and gloves, you can experience your interactive experience without having to rely on 3rd party tracking devices. It boasts a low latency of 30ms from hand to HMD, mobile operation and extremely high accuracy. Its lightweight has a long battery life and tracks your hands beyond your frame of vision. This product was built for a better immersion experience.
This gaming gloves are designed with the present in mind but it also has the potential for a deeper level of immersion. Its designers are determined to master the hand and finger tracking before adding haptic features. This means that your overall experience will be better. Some gloves have prioritised total immersion at the expense of gamers. There are no extra features that may not be used with your favourite games. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. This was clearly designed with gamers in mind
|6 Different sensor types|
|Long battery life|
This Kickstarter success story offers one of the (if not the) most versatile virtual experience. Not only can you feel the weight of an object but you can also: interact with buttons and elements, differentiate textures, feel sound waves, receive feedback, trigger actions and commands, feel the soft fluttering of a butterfly, feel raindrops and the heat of a fire.
You have your choice of low latency Bluetooth or ultra-low latency via USB. 9 axis of motion tracking of your hand motions helps make your interactions more realistic. It also boasts 10 vibrotactile actuators, contact areas for digital and reliable gesture recognition, as well as an extremely low footprint for your PC and mobile devices. All this paired with a long battery life makes this glove powerful competition.
|Equipped with a variety of sensations|
|Low latency Bluetooth 4.0|
|Ultra-low latency with USB|
|10 Vibrotactile actuators|
|Contact areas for digital and reliable gesture recognition|
|Low footprint on PC and mobile devices|
|Long life Li-Po battery|
Designed for capturing as much hand movements as possible, these fingertip-less gloves are quite well equipped. They boast a 5ms latency, full finger tracking (with plug and play, and quick calibration), and haptic feedback to give you a more immersed experience. Their breathable, environmentally friendly, and antibacterial material keeps them dry and clean; making them very low maintenance.
The AA removable battery that powers each glove ensures that you lose no time charging the gloves and spend more time using them. With its sensor technology makes its ability to track your hand movement more precise. These gloves are made for your participation.
Paired with an optical tracking system, this can make your VR experience a little more expensive than you may have first thought. It must be said that the experience may not feel as natural as you’d wish but it does have great potential. With haptic feedback being the holy grail of the VR world, you could get a seat at the last supper with these gloves; all you’d need is the right code.
|Full finger tracking|
With its futuristic design and team of ambitious engineers as parents, this glove certainly looks the part. It has 10 zones sensing and providing forces on each hand. This means that when you lift objects in the virtual world, you’ll actually feel them; from snowballs to baseballs, the difference in the objects are experienced by the user.
You can feel almost any material with the help of pressure sensing on each finger. 5lbs of force on each finger helps to recreate each object as you interact with them. It boasts a latency period of 10ms, captures complex motions and gestures, and has thumb tracking in all directions regardless of whether your thumb is bent or not.
Its wireless design makes for a hassle-free experience. It’s comfortable, breathable, flexible, and weighs less than a pound. It has rechargeable batteries that could be interchanged with others if the need arises.
|5lbs of force for texture simulation|
|360° Thumb tracking|
These wireless and fingertip-less gloves are probably the most streamlined on the market. There are no bulky attachments, just a little box at the back of your hand that you’ll probably forget is even there. It boasts haptic feedback on each individual finger, 10ms latency, and a 10-hour battery life. 7 sensors track your fingers as precisely as possible in order to give you a seamless integration into your virtual world of choice. These were made with you in mind.
The camera-less IMU based tracking system as a model has been marred with inaccuracies but this pair seems to hold its own against the competition. The upside to this is the convenience of it all; there is no need for extra expenses with this pair. With about 150 measurements being taken every second, the tracking system is quite accurate and this allows for a better user experience all-round.
|7 IMU systems|
|6 FoD porsitional tracking|
|Vibration motors for each finger|
|10 hour of battery life|
This exoskeleton crept onto our list because of its amazing capabilities. With a full range of hand motions and force feedback, this gadget will have you truly interacting with virtual reality. It’s lightweight with a relatively long battery life. It also boasts a wider range of motion capturing than most of its competitors. With over 20 predecessors, this flagship product is highly refined and inherently intriguing. Its look will have you feeling like a member of the robot army that fought Will Smith in iRobot. Their technology differs from others like it as their competitors’ design allows your hands to go through objects.
It also comes with its own software development kit (SDK) so developers can take full advantage of the exoskeleton’s capabilities. As more games start to integrate touch into their environments, this product will be almost invaluable. It uses NRF to communicate as Bluetooth and Wifi were seen as inefficient means for its data transfers. It must be said that the design is very limiting in the sense that the virtual object’s density can be felt but its texture can’t be. This limits the potential for immersion.
|Wireless motion capture|
|Variable stiffness force feedback|
Bulky, innovative, and upmarket. These are words that can be used to describe HaptX’s flagship product. The technology used to make VR more realistic is called microfluidics. This technology allows users to feel differences in texture more accurately than anything else on the market. The reason for its bulk is because it is still in the prototype phase and focused on realism rather than practicality.
Proof of concept is the aim of the game with these gloves. They aren’t aimed at gamers but rather at commercial users. Everything from a military simulation to a simulation of a new car design can benefit from the use of HaptX gloves. They are built for fidelity and finesse. The HaptX skin at the heart of this product can be woven into the fabric which has great potential for a fully immersed experience for users.
The gloves come with a large console-sized machine that to regulates air flow to the tiny actuators. These actuators help you feel objects in the virtual world. The large machine contributes to its impracticality. Not only is the design of the glove itself bulky, but you also have to lug that machine around which isn’t very convenient. Seeing as this is also very new technology, its price and size aren’t going to be very average-user-friendly for a little while.
|6 Different sensor types|
|Long battery life|
VR Gloves Buyers guide
When you’re purchasing your pair of VR gloves, you need to consider a few things. There are quite a few candidates but each boasts different specs and have their advantages and disadvantages. Each glove is built by a different team and in different circumstances so there are bound to be things unique to each of them. That being said, they’d all make a great addition to your VR kit.
Know the Reason
If you know why you’re buying a pair of gloves then you’ll be better for it. If all you want is a more immersive experience then any glove that fits your budget will do. If you’re a little pickier with what you want then your list of requirements will filter out all the gloves that you’d immediately regret purchasing. Try to think of it like you’re investing in your experience so you put a little more effort into it. If you would prefer lower latency and wouldn’t mind being connected to attain that then you should look at gloves with cable options. This would probably be for people that deal with environments where reaction time is competitively crucial.
Know the Feeling
If you have sweatier hands than most people then you’d probably want to look at a pair that is either breathable, washable, or both. The materials used, and the design of the glove will determine how great your experience will be. If you prefer not to be confined to a regular glove style pair then there are products on the market that will make you reconsider what constitutes as a glove. The innovation in the industry is so vast that it caters to quite a lot of different people and it’s still growing.
Know the Price
It’s all well and good to have your desired pair of gloves picked out but if they don’t fit your budget then it could be a problem. You want a pair that doesn’t dent your dollar too much but that does everything you want it to. A good pair of gloves, which you don’t have to justify every time you put them on, can really make your experience that much better.
VR gloves come in all shapes and sizes. The technology they each use can be as different as apples are to oranges but at the end of the day, they are all built to serve you. They are all designed to improve your virtual experience and immerse you into the world of 1’s and 0’s. Human-Computer Interaction has made great strides lately and interfaces are becoming quite ubiquitous. It’s a brave new world that we’re living in.