Senso is a VR Input Glove With Per-finger Haptics and Simulated Temperature

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Senso is a new virtual reality glove input device that offers per-finger haptic feedback and the ability to simulate differences in temperature – all tracked via a camera-less IMU-based system.

Once a mainstay of fictional virtual reality input, we all once believed that the virtual reality glove would be a dead lock for our chosen input device for an immersive future. However, it turns out that building a device to track hand and finger position in 3D space is somewhat challenging. Nevertheless, we do have a couple of interesting prospects on the horizon, all offering a slightly different take on what users will want from VR glove-based input. Just in the last year we’ve seen the ill fated Control VR, GloveOne from NeuroDigital,  PowerClaw and Manus VR.

senso_insideYou can now add Senso that that ever growing list. 2 years in the making, this new glove (promised the developers) offers a 7 IMU system to offer “absolute 6FOD positional tracking without any standalone solutions” – by which they mean this is no outside-in system. Each glove also packs in vibration motors for each finger and a battery which the

Now, if I’m honest, there hasn’t yet been an input device we’ve tried which utilises IMU only tracking and orientation which didn’t suffer at some point from immersion breaking drift and inaccuracies. With no absolute positional information, the gathering of incremental orientation via onboard sensors has always come unstuck at some point. This is why consumer motion peripherals from both Oculus and HTC/Valve rely on tracking systems with fixed reference points and external sensors (cameras for Oculus, laser basestation-triggered peripheral sensors for the Vive).

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The development team seem adamant their solution is good enough though,   “combined with custom software, which gave us an opportunity to achi[e]ve almost zero «drift» in absolute positioning.” The team also claim the glove is able to transmit up to 150 “measurements” per minute to the host device, which at around 2.5 per second seems a little low for a device touting such accuracy. However, this does mean the gloves can survive for up to 10 hours via the onboard battery.

Update: Seems the ‘150 per minute’ quoted in the email from Senso to us was indeed far too low – on checking the website a figure of 150FPS (updates per second) is quoted which frankly make much more sense.

senso_2The device has already been demonstrated at tradeshows as diverse as MWC in Barcelona and GDC in San Francisco, the company is now focusing on finalising a commercial product, one which they aim to bring to market for circa $300 per glove pair.

As ever, we’ll remain open minded until we’ve had our hands in the Senso gloves. We’re as keen as anyone else to see the sci-fi dream of hand tracking peripherals become a reality.

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  • Craig Fitzpatrick

    Also check out Maestro, a glove being developed by Contact CI, which uses a mechanical system for individual finger tracking as well as finger specific haptics.

    • brandon9271

      I saw their video on Youtube. I can see why they disabled comments… It was pretty lame

  • George Vieira IV

    150 reading per minute? That seems way too slow.

    • Dmitry

      That’s a mistake, actually it’s 150fps

      • Indeed. This was quoted directly from the email sent to us from Senso, but common sense should have dictated this was incorrect. Checking the website does indeed reveal a much more sane 150/sec update.

        • Adrian Meredith

          its in the video too…. oops

          • Dmitry

            Thank you! Seems like this is where this mistake came from initially. We’ll fix the video ASAP.
            It’s 150 FPS actually.

  • Damien Wilson

    They’re bat-shit-crazy if they believe people are going to pay $300 per glove.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      “glove pair”….

  • Charles

    For force-feedback haptics to be significantly convincing, we’re gonna need an arm sleeve of some kind to generate resistance to motion. To be completely convincing, we’ll need a full body suit. Still, just the fingers is a good first step and better than nothing.

  • VRgameDevGirl

    I think I’ll get a pair when they come out. Super excited!

  • Interesting, but without an actual review I do not know if trust them

  • Sam Illingworth

    How do you simulate different temperatures? Do you actually mean they generate different temperatures?

  • Sponge Bob

    this is DOA for 95 % of potential VR users – no one wants to wear stinking gloves in addition to wearing hmd

    the max they can agree to wear is a small ring like nod ring or its bigger cousin like backspin

    but those are DOA too… for a different reason which i’m not gonna tell you :-)

  • Kyle Biggs

    Great start, but this simply isn’t going to fly. A blind system will always drift over time. Why not put on a wrist-ring of Lighthouse sensors? If the hand’s position is tracked accurately, it’s OK for the fingers to drift a bit since they’ll still be rooted to the hands. Sure, you’d only be able to use them on the Vive, but at least tracking accuracy wouldn’t be an issue.
    Though at that point you might as well just use bend/flex sensors.