EXOS is a new haptic enabled VR glove which uses force feedback to deliver the sensation of physicality when inside immersive applications.

Tokyo based developer Exiii are working on a new VR glove which delivers so-called “reactive force” in response to your actions inside virtual reality – the practical upshot of which is that you’re able to ‘feel’ virtual objects.

Some of you may recall our coverage of Dexta Robotic’s Dexmo haptic feedback solution a little while back and, although perhaps not quite as ambitious, EXOS does look like an interesting approach to the problem of force touch.

Unlike Dexmo however, the EXOS adopts a more simplistic, less granular approach to the problem. Whereas Dexmo provides incremental resistance and finger extension tracking for all four digits and thumbs (per glove), EXOS offers individual thumb and then collective 4 finger movement and force feedback. And whilst this might seem like a regressive step when compared to its other exoskeleton stablemate, it might turn out to be a smart design choice. By reducing complexity and sacrificing fidelity, EXOS’ design may prove more robust, with less moving parts in play and a simpler set of programmatic requirements. This is pure speculation at this stage of course, we’ve not had our hands on the device yet.

More detailed information on the device is scant at this stage, although the developer’s video above does indicate that the devices are at present wired and don’t currently have an integrated tracking solution (check the retrofitted Vive controllers). Demonstrations of how the glove deals with hard and soft surfaces are given, but with no detail as to how much force or to what granularity it can be applied, it’s difficult to know how effective the device is.

Latest Dexmo Input Glove Features Positional Tracking with Full Finger Input, Claims 5ms Latency

Nevertheless, this sort of 2nd or 3rd generation VR-related technology keeps us excited for the future and reminds us that, although VR may be available and in people’s homes, there are a vast array of opportunities and problems still yet to be solved.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded RiftVR.com to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Firestorm185

    So uh, to me it looks pretty similar to the dexmo just, uh…. bigger…

    • Bailey Bridge

      Not sure where you got bigger from, as the newest version of the Dexmo is pretty bulky. Also this is only tracking your thumb and then your fingers as an entity, where as the Dexmo tracks your thumb and each finger individually. basically the difference between the touch controller and Vive wands.

      • Firestorm185

        Yeah, I know. And yeah, the Dexmo is MUCH more complex than this, tracking all the fingers and having the stopping mechanism and stuff. ^^

  • user

    i like the approach. everybody who has experienced the build quality of average consumer products knows that the more things move and the more parts are swappable the sooner it breaks. if they can get this right and think about cleaning and everything then this could be very successful. cables are a problem though. they need an integrated solution with the headset so that theres only one device that you put on your belt.

  • MrTechieGuru

    The Power Glove returns!

  • CoffeeBuzz

    heavy wires will limit the experience I would think.

    • SHunter

      We saw a lot of wire on DK1 and 2 and now vive has a wireless version of its HMD. So yes in the early stages, most of this stuff starts out heavily wired.

      • Adrian

        I think the wires here are needed to drive the motors providing haptics. For force feedback that’s more than just vibration, you’d need quite a lot of juice to drive the motors for any practical length of time. Personally, I don’t see the power requirement going away even with refinement of other aspects so wires will stay, IMO (unless they can do something with the Witricity tech).

        • SHunter

          Haptics like everytime I tap a letter on the keyboard on my mobile phone?

          • Adrian

            Yes, except that a phone or game controller will simply vibrate to indicate some kind of response to the user’s input. Haptics include the force-feedback you see in things like driving wheels/flight yokes and other more specialized gaming controllers. These gloves also provide force-feedback and that makes them relatively power hungry.

          • SHunter

            Those are the same mechanism. A rotating weight on a motor. What constitutes the the difference in context is me pressing a button is haptics where force-feedback is somfeedback acting on my body thats not touch in my hands.

          • Adrian

            Sorry, but the field of haptics is already defined – i.e. you don’t get to define what is what. From Wikipedia, “Haptic or kinesthetic communication recreates the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user”. So both vibration and force-feedback applied to the user are examples of haptic communication, which, btw, is not limited to hands.
            See https://wiki2.org/en/Haptic_technology+Newton

          • SHunter

            yep. what i said

          • Adrian

            No, actually what you said is that haptics is the feedback when pressing buttons and force-feedback “is somfeedback acting on my body thats not touch in my hands” – whatever that’s supposed to mean. Anyhow, no point arguing here.

          • Joseph Deleon

            Saying that the field of haptics as already being defined, is a little bit of narrow mindedness.
            Think about it for a second, this are the first generations, not even that, first prototypes of haptic products.
            Can you imagine if people would had stop trying to innovate computers? we will be still using electro-mechanical or transistor base computers, being operated by punch cards
            Look how far we came in that field.
            Now with that in mind,
            Do you still think that the the field has been defined or do you think it has room to evolve as haptic technology evolves as well?

    • NooYawker

      It’s like early computing, VR and it’s peripherals will get lighter as it evolves. Right now we look like were strapping a cyborg on our bodies.

  • OgreTactics

    Not only does this look interesting to try, but that also a very nice industrial design for something that will remain in the state of prototype niche. Hope they keep up on the long game and continue on iterating because so-far that one of the best designed mechanical physical feedback glove I’ve seen, and it says a lot about the conceptive mind behind. I wonder how they’ll tackled the wireless challenge and micro-haptic feedback.