Haptic gloves – using solid state fluid feedback

Haptic gloves – using solid state fluid feedback

VR and AR have been on a tear lately. But one of the things missing from VR is actual physical feedback when interacting with objects. Haptic feedback isn’t new; but the methods used so far are pretty crude. Currently developed/in development systems from Meta and Haptx use tubes with compressed air. The physical limitations of these systems make them expensive, noisy, and bulky. (A recent Apple patent also hints at their methods)

Enter Fluid Reality. They have developed a system that utilizes an electro-osmotically powered array of pixels that are placed on the fingertips in the gloves. These give a sensation of touch feedback by physically raising/lowering the pixels to simulate the surface (rough, smooth, ridges/edges, etc). But they don’t use air, they use liquid. That method means they can use much smaller, solid state osmatic pumps. This means the entire apparatus can likely fit entirely on the hand instead of needing bulky air systems.

Harrison’s team uses liquid to create touch sensations, resulting in a more precise and quieter system compared to conventional VR gloves that run on pressurized air. This technology can generate more complex touch sensations and is based on the principle of electromagnetic induction, using an electromagnetic field to move liquid within the glove’s liquid chambers. A small battery and standard printed circuit board (PCB) hardware are sufficient for the operation of this technology.

They use solid state, electro-osmatic pumps which means they are much cheaper and all the electronics can fit on the hand instead of needing connection to larger external apparatus.

Read more about it in their paper.


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