Founded in July of 2014, Manus Gloves, a Netherlands-based VR tech startup began a journey in creating an intuitive data-glove. The Manus team sought to design a glove that tracked your hands and arms fully and smoothly with a motion tracking bracelet and finger sensors. Manus Gloves has given VR gamers and exercisers a truly immersive experience to look forward to, by getting rid of hand-held controllers and replacing them with your very own hands.
VR Gloves For Space Use
Manus Gloves has worked alongside NASA to assist in mixed reality experiments and simulations that help astronauts learn how to use tools and how to maneuver through the International Space Station in a zero-gravity environment. This helps to train and prepare astronauts and those helping them in the control room or otherwise have a better understanding of how to use onboard equipment, what to do when tools float, or what to do if there’s disorientation or space sickness.
All Hands On Deck
Having your hands free during a workout is important to safety, maintaining balance, and getting the most out of every activity. Freeing your hands can help stabilize you and help you feel more in control as you move throughout a changing virtual environment. Using your hands instead of a controller can help push you to reach for more objects and grab more collectibles (gaining more XP and burning more calories) in gameplay. The glove’s low latency improves and contributes to that feeling of being inside a VR world more fully and decreases image disturbances that are known to cause nausea.
Having a controller in your hand while sword fighting or pulling the trigger of an automatic VR weapon can feel realistic, but it can get in the way of an immersive experience because you still have to use buttons to control movement and interaction. Special motion Xsens tracking helps you smoothly travel in a virtual world and haptic feedback inside the gloves gives you a feeling of true interaction while holding, pushing, or punching inside a virtual game or experience.
Comfortable Glove Design
The gloves are made of a stretchy material that comfortably wraps around hands and fingers, but leaves the fingertips free. Don’t worry, it won’t look like Robocop or like you have a Power Glove, their design looks clean, comfortable, and does a good job of not looking bulky.
Their design is one size fits most, which can be hit or miss depending on the size or shape of your hands. After you use them, they get sweaty, or dirty you can easily remove the outside casing away from the finger and wrist sensors and can be easily hand washed.
Are The Sensors Helpful?
Each glove finger has two sensors and the thumb has 3, making for 22 finger sensors total. How much weight these sensors can hold, if any, is up for speculation. This speculation makes it more difficult to assess the spectrum of exercise possibilities it can withstand, but you can safely infer that they can be used for combat and action games that don’t involve you putting your entire body weight on the VR gloves.
Manus gloves can stay up and running for as long as 6 to 3 hours of battery life use and are easily recharged using a micro USB cable. This gives you more than enough time to use these haptic gloves to play games like Into the Rhythm and feel the beat on your hands or the burn of your arms as you bang against a virtual drum set. Or if it’s leg day, use the gloves instead of the handheld controller as you give your thighs, calves, and glutes a workout while you play VR games like Holopoint or Hot Squat.
Manus Gloves can be used with VR gear that has motion capture platforms like HTC Vive, Xsens, PhaseSpace, OptiTrack, and Vicon. They note their compatibility with Windows, Unreal Engine, Unity, and Motion Builder. They also have future integration with Android, iOS, OSVR, and Matlab in the works.
Where to Get One
The Manus Glove is a welcomed accessory for virtual reality gear, giving VR gamers and exercisers a promising interactive tool that could make playing a VR game or exercising in a virtual gym more motivating and immersive.
The only problem is, currently, you can only order one as a Development Kit found here. The obvious drawback is that you’ll have to wait to purchase one. Unless you’re a developer who can start making VR games for the rest of us to enjoy once a public product rolls out.