How Two $5000 Force Feedback Gloves Compare

At CES 2022 I attempted on two pressure suggestions gloves, SenseGlove’s Nova and Contact CI’s Maestro.

Many consider gloves could possibly be the last word type of VR enter, however most “VR gloves” merely function vibration motors on every finger. Pressure suggestions gloves, nevertheless, go additional by truly limiting the motion of your fingers in response to a digital object or floor.

Excessive finish pressure suggestions gloves like HaptX value tens of hundreds of and are tethered to an influence pack. HaptX additionally has greater than 100 tiny actuators on every hand to simulate the feel of digital objects. However regardless of this constancy, the price is impractical for a lot of organizations coaching at scale.

Whereas the $5000 value of Nova and Maestro appears excessive in a client context, it’s effectively inside the vary of affordability for corporations in sectors like automotive, engineering, healthcare, and protection. And crucially, each SenseGlove and Contact CI inform me their expertise isn’t essentially costly – future fashions produced in greater quantity might attain a a lot lower cost.

So how do Nova and Maestro examine? Is one superior to the opposite? Each gloves function per-finger vibration motors, however the stage and constancy of pressure suggestions differs such that every fits a barely totally different use case.

How Two $5000 Pressure Suggestions Gloves Examine 16 SenseGlove Nova How Two $5000 Pressure Suggestions Gloves Examine 17 SenseGlove Nova

The place SenseGlove’s Nova excels is within the sheer pressure of its suggestions – it might present as much as 20 newtons of resistance. The demo I attempted had me assembling a robotic by pulling a lever to spawn new elements, then grabbing these elements and attaching them collectively. I might additionally choose up a can and crush it – a check of how shortly the system can transition from full resistance to zero. It actually felt like grabbing a bodily object.

Contact CI’s Maestro can solely present a couple of newtons of pressure, so isn’t as appropriate for simulating grabbing giant objects. However carrying it felt considerably much less cumbersome than Nova – my fingers felt extra free to maneuver naturally. The pressure suggestions actuator, though a lot much less highly effective, felt much less synthetic too. The demo right here was in an plane cockpit. Whereas grabbing the yoke didn’t fairly really feel proper, flicking cockpit switches felt nearly indistinguishable from actuality. It was one of the best VR cockpit interplay demo I’ve ever tried.

How Two $5000 Pressure Suggestions Gloves Examine 18 Contact CI Maestro How Two $5000 Pressure Suggestions Gloves Examine 19 Contact CI Maestro

For now, I’d take SenseGlove Nova for room-scale object interplay and Contact CI Maestro for seated cockpit experiences. Each corporations are engaged on the subsequent model of the hardware whereas working with actual shoppers to grasp what options to prioritize. If each merchandise hold enhancing whereas sustaining the decrease value, HaptX could possibly be going through critical competitors in years to come back.

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