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Wolverine Device Generates Haptic Feedback For Objects Grasped in VR

Stanford Wolverine

With multiplayer large scale VR on the way it’s clear that top-notch accessories will become essential in an interactive virtual experience. Yet, gloves and controllers are still disrupting it with added weight and extra moves required. Researchers from Shape Lab at Stanford University believe the answer consists in a device that follows our natural movements: Wolverine #realitymagic

While its name was inspired by a superhuman, the way it’s meant to be used is in human nature. The wearable device was equipped with the ability of finger tracking and force feedback in order to simulate the sensation of grasping rigid objects in the augmented or virtual world.

Wolverine can generate a force directly between thumb and three fingers, convincing the player that what he is living is real. It doesn’t hurt that the mobile device is lightweight enough not to draw attention to it.

The “claws” (sliders) can be stretched, locked or relaxed to give the sensation of grasping objects with different shapes. It can also withstand more than 100 newtons of force between thumb and finger and it is low power enough to become an option for mobile VR system manufacturers.

The team hopes to update Wolverine soon with the ability to take and hold soft objects too: “The next step will be thinking about how to generate [a] soft feeling, while [retaining the fact that it is] lightweight and low-cost. We always need to keep in mind both engineering and practical aspects.”

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