SenseGlove recently announced SenseGlove Nova, a haptic force-feedback glove targeted for enterprise-level virtual reality simulations. These gloves let you grab virtual objects and feel them as if they were physical objects to give you a more profound sense of realism in training simulations.
The SenseGlove Nova features vibration motors to give you a tactile feeling when you touch something, kind of like what you get in a typical gamepad or VR controller. The Novo gloves also include a mechanical system that gives you physical resistance when you try to hold onto something virtual, like a doorknob or a tool.
This type of technology is hugely important in the enterprise simulation world, where the level of realism has a meaningful effect on the value of the user's training. When you're trying to learn how to complete a dangerous task, such as maintenance on a gas pipeline, working with explosives in a mine, or trying to perfect a surgical procedure, the more accurate you need the experience to be.
The current iteration of the SenseGlove Nova is an expensive piece of tech. A pair of these gloves will set you back around $5,000, so it's not the type of device that you're likely to try at your friend's place. However, that could change in just a few years. I had a chance to speak with Gijs den Butter, CEO and co-founder of SenseGlove, during CES last week, and he said the company's roadmap to the consumer market is roughly five years. In that time, den Butter expects to cut the price by approximately 90%, with a price target near $500.
SenseGlove has a lot of growing to do before it can get to that point. Currently, the gloves are hand-built to order. The company needs to achieve specific sales goals before investing in full-scale manufacturing, but it is making steady progress. With any luck, we could be tossing our Valve Index controllers in the closet and replacing them with SenseGloves in just a few years.