13 July 2017

Smart Gloves Let You Feel Things in VR

'Touching the Void'  allows users to feel objects that aren't really there. Consisting of a pair of gloves and a pedestal that are both embedded with electronics,  'Touching the Void' depicts virtual objects by vibrating when the user's fingers enter the space occupied by the object. The data of user's finger position is tracked by a sensor device embedded in the pedestal, then fed to a micro-controller to activate the corresponding vibration motors beneath fingertips.

Guided by where the vibration happens, the audience will gradually understand the shape of the object and construct the image of it in their mind. As the user tries to understand the form of the virtual object, they become a performer of sorts while those watching the interaction take place get a visual sense of the virtual object as well. The creation of an apparatus that gives sensory qualities to virtual objects is certainly an ambitious undertaking.

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