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.
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.
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.
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.