The virtual touch
Virtual realities offer countless possibilities. Spaces like the metaverse are becoming more present and important in many areas of private, public, and corporate life. They invite the user to be part of immersive experiences, simulations, and visualizations in areas such as gaming, sports, shopping but also recruiting and corporate applications. However, so far virtual reality has been mainly accessible in an audiovisual way. Now, the sense of "feeling" can be added to the audiovisual dimension.
Heraeus Epurio and the Japanese start-up AI Silk have successfully developed a technology based on conductive polymer textile electrodes that can simulate haptic features in a virtual environment as the “Haptic Metaverse Gloves” demonstrate.
Built of conductive fibers, the gloves function both as sensors and AR/VR/XR controller. Control buttons at the back of the hand make additional controllers unnecessary. Since there are no mechanical parts needed, the gloves are ultra-light and make the user experience highly intuitive. Bending sensors in each finger provide motion monitoring. The user gets the sense of weight via haptic feedback as if an object is held, owing to electrodes in the index finger and the forearm.
The “Haptic Metaverse Glove” has the potential to become a game-changer in the exploration of the metaverse. They enable users to move around freely and interact with augmented reality objects intuitively, just as they would in the physical world.
Heraeus Epurio has been working with AI Silk since 2016, supporting them to create conductive fiber LEAD SKIN® that is also used in the development of smart sportswear .