Go Touch VR, which is developing a simple haptic device that’s surprisingly effective, has raised €837,000 (approx. $1 million) in venture capital for ongoing development. The company has offered a look at the latest version of the VRTouch DK1 dev kit, which has come quite far from the 3D printed prototype we saw earlier this year.

Back in March I first saw Go Touch VR’s VRTouch haptic device, a small module designed to attach to the ends of your fingers which presses against your fingertips when your virtual hand comes in contact with objects in the virtual world. It’s a simple but smart approach that’s surprisingly effective for touching and holding small virtual objects—when I tried the prototype earlier this year I found that having something that’s not part of your body ‘pushing back’ against your fingers offers a convincing sensation of poking and grabbing that rumble just can’t provide.

Image courtesy Go Touch VR

Go Touch VR has announced nearly $1 million in venture funding, and is now showing off their VRTouch DK1 dev kit, which is being sold on a select basis through an application process.

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Far from the 3D printed prototypes I used in March, the VRTouch DK1 appears to be made with molded plastic, and now has an integrated IMU to assist with finger tracking—which is for now reliant upon Leap Motion, though Go Touch VR has plans to support the Vive Tracker, Optitrack, and ARTrack in 2018. The unit also now has buttons built in to offer more input options, and the company says the current version can provide up to 1.5 newtons of force on each fingertip.

Image courtesy Go Touch VR

Go Touch VR plans to be at CES 2018 at the beginning of January where we expected to get a fresh hands-on with the new design. I’ll be most interested to see if they’ve managed to increase the friction between the device and the finger so that the elastic band doesn’t need to be pulled as tightly in order to stay securely on your finger.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • MrGreen72

    Vive tracker eh?

    They better start a diet soon.

    • NooYawker

      “for now reliant upon Leap Motion, though Go Touch VR has plans to support the Vive Tracker, Optitrack, and ARTrack in 2018”
      It’s strange how you only read Vive tracker.

    • Eric Vezzoli

      Indeed, we are supporting the relevant tracking technologies in the ecosystem. The vive tracker is there, you can buy it, and it make sense. It is great to plan ahead and promise the universe, we prefer to deliver something that make sense today, and prepare for something that make sense also tomorrow.

  • Eric Vezzoli

    Regarding the friction, you will be surprised. The thing do not detach from your finger even if you shake quite hard. Silicon is the way !

  • Rafael Lorena

    Finger only ? Hahahaha

    • Eric Vezzoli

      Depends which is the objective. Our primary aim is not to increase immersion, but facilitate the natural interaction. If you look on that side, we reduced the problem to the minimum and simplified the HW at the max to be actually able to produce and deliver in reasonable marketable time. In VR there is no weight, so it is not relevant the manipulation through palms once a reasonable mechanical information is provided to the fingers.

      • Smite Daman

        so this will work with Rift vr games?

        • Eric Vezzoli

          Depends, we are focusing on B2B application for VR right now. Games are not designed with a proper physics engine, so haptics is quite challenging to apply in post process. The experience is just sloppy. Haptics have to be designed when coding the game.

          • Smite Daman

            so the game would have to be made with wanting this tech to work in the game while you are making it for it to work right?

          • GoTouchVR

            Yes, the best way is to do it at the source. It is the same reason why Tactical Haptics or other haptics companies didn’t yet released a “product” to be used directly with existing content. As mentioned, Haptics is essentially based on the physics engine. Current games do not have the right king of physics engine to have a reasonable haptics experience. It is coming, but it has to start from scratch.

    • Toothlover

      That’s a lot cheaper than the exo-skeleton thing.

      • GoTouchVR

        That is also a lot more feasible. Exo-skeletons fail hard when you look into hand size, and ability to be actually produced at scale. THey are great machine for certain field of applications!

  • V Zaporozhets

    Which games are going to support it at launch?

    • Eric Vezzoli

      Right now we are focusing on B2B application for VR. By not having buttons, it is quite tricky supporting native content designed for input methods.

  • DanDei

    Marketing should reconsider the name after #metoo year.

  • Sabarish

    We currently use oculus touch for our B2B VR tools. Will Go touch VR get to a point where it can replace all the functionalities of Oculus touch?

    • Eric Vezzoli

      As a matter of the fact, it is already possible to replace the functionalities for certain kind of applications, in fact, in the various scenarios we developed along with BMW and other customers, we already replaced all the controllers. The interaction system needs to be redone, but the effort is quickly regained in accessibility to the content for a lambda user.

      Our system is designed and conceived for natural interaction, that means user use hands and nothing else. All the UI and Interaction is designed around there.

      Please get in contact https://www.gotouchvr.com/contact/ we will be more then happy to have a discussion on the matter.