The Sense Glove enables users to get a grip on virtual reality

Virtual reality is one of the most exciting trends in consumer technology today — so much so, Digital Trends awarded the HTC Vive VR headset Product of the Year in 2016. There are plenty of cool games and applications in the VR space already, but the technology is still in its infancy, as developers and artists try to figure out the best way to craft immersive experiences. One big problem for VR is that, while it can use sight and sound to create 3D environments, other senses, like touch, are not as developed. The makers of the Sense Glove aim to change that, with a device that lets users feel their interactions with virtual objects.

The Sense Glove resembles a large, skeletal hand into which the users slides their own, while also fastening attachments to their fingers. CEO Gijs den Butter explained how it works.

“So basically, Sense Glove enables touch in virtual reality,” den Butter said. “It does it with force feedback, so you actually are restricted when you’re trying to grasp an object, and with haptic feedback, so you get a little tactile sensation when for example you’re touching hard or slippery objects.”

It’s a tantalizing prospect for game designers looking to develop more visceral VR experiences, but den Butter is focused on satisfying needs of a more mundane variety.

“We use it mainly, currently for B2B (business-to-business) training purposes. So you have to think of training workers on an assembly line. It’s really expensive to hold an assembly line just for training purposes, but in VR you can build it as real as possible, and with our Sense Glove, the interaction with the virtual objects are just as if touching real objects, almost.”

The Sense Glove is a remarkable advancement over the typical controllers bundled with VR headsets, with may track the movement of the user’s hands, but don’t offer any real sense of touch beyond rumbling.

Consumers hoping to acquire a Sense Glove may need to wait a bit. The device is still in the prototype stage. Den Butter plans to have a development kit out in June 2018. Those kits are currently available for pre-order.

Web

Firefox Reality wants to bring the ‘whimsical web’ to VR

Mozilla launched a VR-powered web browser today called Firefox Reality. But just what does browsing the web in VR feel like? We went hands-on with this new browser to see how Mozilla imagines the future of virtual reality content.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Oculus Touch buoys the Rift, but there's still work to be done

Oculus inspired the new generation of virtual reality headsets with its incredibly successful Kickstarter. Is the original the standard, or have its imitators surpassed it? Let's take a look at how the Rift stacks up.
Mobile

eBay HeadGaze app lets physically impaired control iPhone X with head movements

eBay's open source HeadGaze software uses the iPhone X's FaceID system to translate head movements into screen actions, hopefully opening tech up for many people with physical impairments.
Emerging Tech

Forget hands — this 3D-printed clock keeps time using nothing but marbles

Based on the innovative rolling ball clock design created by Harley Mayenschein in the 1970s, this awesome 3D-printed variation is yours to make at home, courtesy of free instructions.
Cars

We get up close with the Vision iNext concept to learn about BMW’s future

Through a massive worldwide campaign that visits various major cities around the world, we get our exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with BMW’s latest Vision iNEXT Concept to learn about automaker’s future plans.
Emerging Tech

Who will be the first private passenger to the moon? SpaceX will tell us today

SpaceX is set to announce the name of the mystery passenger who it will launch into orbit around the moon. This will be the first lunar traveler since the last U.S. Apollo mission in 1972.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene editing creates cocaine-proof mice, aims to crack addiction puzzle

Scientists from the University of Chicago have used CRISPR gene editing to create cocaine-resistant mice by modifying the DNA of skin cells. Here's how the breakthrough skin graft works.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX to send Japanese billionaire on moon trip, but he won’t be going alone

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has named Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa as the first paying passenger for the company's ambitious 2023 moon mission aboard the Big Falcon Rocket.
Emerging Tech

Smart sound system will give every car passenger their own wireless audio stream

Can't agree on what to listen to in the car? Imagine if each passenger could get their own way, courtesy of a personal audio stream — no headphones required. Sounds impossible, but it's almost here.
Emerging Tech

Crazy vending machine swaps computer art for your permanent selfie

Coder artist Matthias Dörfelt's camera-equipped vending machine swaps unique prints of computer-generated faces for the rights to upload your selfie onto the main Ethereum blockchain.
Emerging Tech

No more scraping? Anti-frosting advance could mark end of frozen windshields

Hate frozen windshields in winter? Researchers at Virginia Tech may have found a way to banish them for good, thanks to the world’s first passive anti-frosting surface. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Japanese billionaire faces tricky task of choosing 8 artists for his moon trip

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has been named as SpaceX's first-ever paying passenger for a trip to the moon in 2023. He says he wants to take eight artists with him. But how will he choose them? And will they accept?
Smart Home

Who needs Stitch Fix? Maison Me uses A.I. to custom design clothing just for you

With backing from Google, a new Silicon Valley-based startup called Maison Me is offering A.I.-assisted, designed-to-order clothing. It's like a personal styling service on steroids.