HaptX (formerly AxonVR) today unveiled the HaptX Gloves Development Kit, an “industrial-grade” VR haptic glove that uses micro-pneumatics for detailed haptics and delivers force-feedback to the fingers.
The HaptX Gloves dev kit includes two gloves, each with 130 tactile actuators that the company says in a press statement provides “realistic touch across the hand and fingertips.” An exoskeleton provides force-feedback by physically stopping your fingers when you grasp a virtual object like a dial or handle.
We went hands-on with an early prototype of HaptX’s gloves last year, and Road to VR’s Ben Lang came away pretty impressed with the tech, saying however that the company’s ultimate challenge was to turn the prototype into what would ideally be something sleeker, smaller, and far more practical.
Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat got a chance to get his hands on the current dev kit itself, saying the feeling of the actuators “was more fine-grained in terms of sensations.” Images seem to support the claim that the dev kit itself hasn’t slimmed down substantially however, as the kit itself is still heavily reliant on a central control box and of-the-shelf Vive Trackers to give the user’s hands positional tracking.
While the setup is admittedly not ideal for consumers at the moment, the company has remained steadfast in their market segment, appealing to industrial and government organizations which can deploy training solutions with the aim of transferring skills learned in VR to the workplace.
“With HaptX Gloves, leading automotive and aerospace companies can touch and interact with their vehicles before they are built, radically reducing time and cost for design iterations,” said Jake Rubin, founder and CEO of HaptX. “Industrial and government organizations can deploy virtual training solutions that build real muscle memory, providing a safe, cost-effective and flexible alternative to live training.”
HaptX has reportedly taken on $5.8 million in seed funding in its opening financing round in late 2016.
Check out the mixed reality launch trailer below to get an idea of how virtual training works with HaptX’s gloves.