While Hyper-Advanced haptic VR Gloves are initially being aimed at the Enterprise Sector, High-End Gaming is its long term market
The sound and light effects of virtual reality (VR) are becoming more and more realistic, but with the development of technology, it is expected to add tactile experience. Users need to wear special clothing to transmit the stimulation felt in the simulated reality to the user in the form of electric current. Emerging technologies use compressed air to move on the skin to create a more realistic sense of touch.
The next big trend in VR will deliver a leap in advanced haptic "experiences" that will allow users to feel the weight of objects like guns, feel the impact of a bullet or blast hitting game players.
In order to increase the tactile experience, the user will have to wear a tactile vest and gloves, and the tactile gloves will generate corresponding vibrations after receiving information in the virtual reality. The most common device is the Eccentric Rotating Mass Actuator (ERM), which provides vibration by receiving and rotating an eccentric weight.
The tactile vest sends an adjustable current to the human torso to transmit stimulation. In addition to producing a tingling sensation, it can also simulate effects such as being shot, stabbed or blasted, without any damage to the human body.
At present, HaptX gloves are being aimed for the Enterprise with a hefty price of US$4,500 per pair. The medical industry will be one such focus where it will be used to teach surgeons through virtual reality. It will also be used in many fine engineering fields.
The long-term goal is to eventually deliver a slimmed down version aimed at mass markets like gaming. While it will take years to miniaturize the technology for high-end gaming, this is a trend that Patently Apple will be cognizant of when reporting on Haptic-related patents going forward.
At present, Apple is slowly applying for and being granted patents relating to future VR gloves (01, 02 and 03). One of their patent figures for VR gloves is presented below. VR gloves are likely a longer term project while finger-mounted devices (01, 02 and 03) from Apple are likely being aimed for the shorter term.