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Dexmo exoskeleton glove lets you touch and feel in VR

Engadget Engadget 24/08/2016 Richard Lai
© Provided by Engadget © Provided by Engadget

As much as we enjoy virtual reality these days, there's still the occasional urge to fiddle with virtual objects using just our hands. If all goes well, the upcoming Manus VR glove will be the first to unwrap our hands from controllers, but it'll only provide tactile feedback, meaning you still won't be able to feel the shape nor physical properties of virtual objects. This is where Dexmo comes in: This mechanical exoskeleton glove tracks 11 degrees of freedom of motion and offers variable force feedback for each finger. To put it simply, you'll be able to realistically squeeze a rubber duck in the VR world. Better yet, this seemingly clunky glove claim to be lightweight and also runs wirelessly "for a relatively long time."

Dexta Robotics, the Chinese startup behind Dexmo, has spent the last two years coming up with over 20 prototypes before getting to the current version. Unfortunately for us mere mortals, it'll be a while before we can get our hands on this device. CEO Aler Gu told Engadget that he's only made a batch of Dexmo and is currently seeking keen software developers plus VR/MR (mixed reality) market leaders who can take full advantage of his gear, before he eventually takes it to market -- be it for gaming, education, medical or training.

"Selling Dexmo is different than selling consumer electronics because you can't use Dexmo right out of the box," Gu added. "It will take some really amazing content for people to realize how gaming-changing this innovation actually is."

Little else is known about the Dexmo at the moment -- no date nor price just yet. However, with Valve now opening up the HTC Vive's trackers to third-party peripherals, we can already imagine how much more awesome VR will be courtesy of these futuristic gloves. Some day we'll look back and think, VR was so lame when we only had controllers.

Dexta Robotics

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