Oculus Patents For Haptic VR Glove Surface Online

by Jamie Feltham • March 26th, 2018

It looks like a patent detailing the VR glove that we saw Mark Zuckerberg wearing last year has now surfaced online.

While the VR industry gathered at GDC last week, not one but two Oculus patents, originally filed back in 2016, were published online. Both describe haptic feedback gloves that use tendons that plug into an accentuator to simulate a sense of touch inside VR. The tendons are lined along the back of the user’s hands to provide resistance when you touch objects, meaning anything from button presses to picking up items could feel much more real.

However, the documents suggest that only two tendons are featured in the glove, perhaps suggesting the haptic feedback might not be applied to every finger. We could certainly see the thinking behind this; we use our thumbs and index fingers more than anything else, though we’d still love to have this feedback for the entire hand.

As promising as it all sounds, we have no idea what Oculus’ plans for the tech consist of. Any potential product is likely years off, meaning we’ll be sticking to our Touch controllers for some time yet.

Back in February 2017 Zuckerberg provided a glimpse inside the Oculus Research division, including a look at prototype gloves that featured advanced hand-tracking too. The gloves allowed users to “draw, type on a virtual keyboard, and even shoot webs like Spider Man.”

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  • Dakota Dunn

    Do you mean actuator?

    • Firestorm185

      I thought that was a weird word. xD

    • Bundy

      lol, I was thinking the same thing. Out of curiousity I googled “accentuator”. It says “An accentuator is any chemical which facilitates the staining process.”

  • impurekind

    Well, only having the thumb, forefinger and middle finger mapped to the haptic feedback would make it technically map to the same fingers you currently use with Touch or even the [once included] Xbox controller, so it kinds makes sense to only have those for easy cross compatibility with the controls in basically every Rift game to date.

    • polysix

      no good for playing virtual keyboards (pianos/synths) or typing on virtual keyboards though. Needs all fingers in for the real deal. Not to mention feeling a virtual female’s curvy bits… *ahem*. That’s a five finger task right there!

      Still, very good and hope they bring these soon. I’m in!

      • impurekind

        I hear ya.

  • Milosx

    It is 2018… people are lazy even to put on the headset and use controllers, so nobody will want to use gloves. Just go the leapmotion way

    • SendsV8

      I think the point for this is force-resistance haptic feedback which you obviously wouldn’t get from a Leap type tracking device.

  • Interesting, but it is just a patent and we all know that these big companies just patent everything

  • SendsV8

    If it’s a glove it’s a non-starter.

    I’m not wearing some sweaty glove to play games for more than ten minutes, especially in summer. These things need to be skeletal with hinged supports if necessary. At worst a meshed material or combination thereof.