Smart fabrics are still something we have yet to see, even though the idea has been floating around for some time. Wearable devices haven’t been refined so they would have good usability yet, many are made of stiff materials in order to incorporate electronics and input/output interfaces. Tech companies have been working on the matter, the latest being Microsoft. The company filed a patent last year, which has just surfaced.
The patent reveals Microsoft’s plan to tackle the problem, showing its working on a smart glove device with regions of varying stiffness.
The firm part of the glove can hold hardware components like vibration motors, controllers, silicon components. The fingers of the glove remain flexible, accommodating various motion-restricting devices that can apply force to the user’s hand while maintaining wearability.
This will come especially handy in VR experiences making interaction with objects in the virtual reality a lot more genuine. The smart glove will let you feel each object differently, by applying a different motion-restriction pattern to your fingers.
Microsoft explains different ways of obtaining the regions of various stiffness, like having a more robust knitting pattern for the fabric, a special polymer that changes its flexibility gradually, and a number of small circular structures varying in size and thickness
Other companies like Sony and Samsung have been toying with the idea too, but we do need to remember tech companies file hundreds of patents that don’t turn into anything.