With Meta Preview tactile Gloves, VR Metaverse moves closer to reality
Meta says VR gloves rely on tactile rendering to send "precise commands to the hand actuators" and sketch out a vision that matches how people feel to what they're doing in the metaverse.
Meta, formerly Known as Facebook, is going straight into virtual reality, showing off its latest haptic glove that can provide sensory feedback in the digital realm.
At the end of October, Facebook changed its name to Meta, shifting its focus from social media to developing virtual reality technology.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Meta shared the latest breakthrough in research into haptic gloves by its virtual Reality technology company Reality Labs, noting that the product has been seven years in the making.
The company shared a video showing two people testing out tactile gloves in a demo metal comb, clenching their fists, picking up blocks, throwing things, shaking hands, knocking over dominoes, and playing Jenga together.
Meta says the glove relies on haptic rendering to send "precise commands to the driver in the hand," corresponding to tracking technology that can determine hand positions and the properties of virtual objects in the metaverse.
In their current state of development, the palm appears to be lined with small soft robotic motors that move in unison, transmitting corresponding sensations to the user's hand movements. However, Meta points out that haptic gloves won't hit the market anytime soon.
"It's going to take some time for the average consumer to be able to afford and afford a phone. I mean, look at the mess of cables that connect these prototypes, "the blog post reads.
Meta says its haptic glove project "started on the moon," but is getting closer to reality with advances in perception science, soft robotics, microfluidics, hand tracking, and haptic rendering.
The company also outlined its vision for the project, which is moving forward, similar to the plot of the Ready Player One film, in which VR technology and gaming have evolved to the point of providing users with a habitable meta-universe:
"Imagine completing a virtual 3D puzzle with a friend's real-life 3D avatar. When you pick up a virtual puzzle from a table, your fingers automatically stop moving when you feel it in your hand."
Many onlookers are waiting to see if Meta will launch an "open Metaverse" like its decentralized counterparts in the crypto space, or pose a threat to the space by vying for dominance.
However, some people are optimistic about Meta's move. Music tech startup Corite will offer extreme upside opportunities for the irreplaceable token and metaspace industries, co-founder and COO Emil Angervall told Cointelegraph on Oct. 29.
Meta's stock is up 9% since the name change was announced, trading at $341 as of this writing.