Update 3/10/2016 2:30PM: The company and product name was incorrectly published as “Magnus” instead of Manus. Digital Trends has corrected the error.
Consumer grade virtual reality is going to arrive in just a few weeks – making this a very exciting time. But with both Oculus and HTC/Valve showing off alternative ways to interact with the virtual world, there’s a lot of discussion ongoing about which method will dominate.
There are of course others thinking that neither of them have it right. Leap Motion believes you don’t need controllers at all, opting to use cameras to detect hand motion instead. Manus VR has an idea that fits somewhere between the two — and brings back memories of Nintendo’s Power Glove.
It has a pair of VR enabled gloves, that instead of imaging your hands like the Leap Motion, track it like the controllers of the major headset makers, but in a much more nuanced way. Button free, the gloves track individual fingers and individual joints, offering what it calls ‘nine degrees of freedom’ and haptic feedback for various actions.
The gloves were first shown in early 2015, but now they are close production.
There’s two options for connectivity: a five millisecond latency, USB cable-attached version, and a 12 millisecond delay, wireless Bluetooth version. The cable option may also be to aid continued usage if the batteries get low. Lasting up to eight hours a piece, they are entirely rechargeable.
The gloves themselves are made from what’s described as “high tech textiles,”and are entirely washable, despite the impressive electronic array inside.
One of the biggest features of the whole Manus VR set up though, is that it is compatible with the Lighthouse tracking system of the HTC Vive headset, and has attach points for the wand controllers, so player can use their hands for fine interactions and controllers when they want to feel like they’re gripping something.
Set to be shown off for the first time at the Games Developer Conference next week, the Manus VR gloves will also go on sale in Q2 of this year as a developer kit, with the first ones shipping out at some point in Q3. The expected price tag is $250.
If these gloves come out before Oculus has released its Touch controllers, it’s going to seem very far behind the curve.