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.”