VR technology has seen much advancement in recent years. VR Gloves, in VR technology, is wearable technology that is used to enhance the realism of the VR tech. Let’s look into Best VR Gloves for a relishing experience.
Virtual Reality gadgets like Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), movement controllers, consoles have seen many changes in the tech. But the total game changers were VR gloves. They are used to control or mimic the movements of hands in Virtual and Augmented Reality. With cutting edge technology, many companies are also able to embed haptic responses in them. This gives a real feel of the virtual objects in the game.
VR Gloves are basically used as an accessory with HMDs. Furthermore, there are some gloves which are used to control Tablets and screens but they are totally different from traditional VR gloves. Traditional VR gloves work in 3 dimensions i.e. x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis while other gloves function in 2 dimensions.
VR Free Gloves by SensoryX
Manus VR Prime Haptic Gloves
BeBop Sensors Forte Data Glove
Perception Neuron 2.0
10 Best VR Gloves in 2020
The coming decade is going to see more upgrades in the existing technology. Today, in 2020, the marketplace has some powerful VR Gloves and as the upgrades commence, they are going to need some powerful processors too.
When considering computers, GPUs are given importance over the processors. As VR Gloves approach gaming and development from a very different angle, the machine/processors driving them should be powerful.
The best upgrade in recent years is the haptic response integrated into the glove. This allows the user to feel the objects in the virtual world. And as the outbreak happened, more and more brands are focusing on the additional features they can add with it. Let’s take a look at the 10 Best VR Gloves in 2020 and talk about their pro and cons. At last, we will also see what you should consider while buying one for yourself.
- The Noitom Hi5 VR Glove is designed for capturing full hand and finger action in virtual reality. You can now have both hands in the experience thanks to our IMU sensor technology. There are a total of 6 9-axis IMU sensors. Hi5 VR Glove delivers the lightning-fast response, pinpoint accuracy, and plug-and-play convenience for transporting hands into the virtual environment. Created by the company that has revolutionized the motion capture industry, the Noitom Hi5 VR Glove fulfills the promise of fully immersing you inside the virtual world.
Developed by Noitom, the Hi5 VR Gloves are designed to capture full hand movement with finger actions and other gestures in the virtual world. It rocks IMU sensors (Inertial Measurement Unit) to precisely calculate the position/movement of hands and fingers. Powered by AA rechargeable batteries (removable), they can power the unit for up to 3 hours straight.
It also has a haptic response to the virtual objects with the latency of less than 5 ms for seamless immersion in virtual reality. These gloves are custom-designed for HTC VIVE and Noitom’s B2B mixed reality platform, Project Alice. The integration is seamless with high accuracy in tracking finger movements. SDK for Unity, C++, and Unreal Engine.
- IMU sensor technology
- Removable battery
- Low latency
- Compatible with HTC Vibe
- Grabbing response/gesture could be better
2. Senso Gloves
- Senso is a wireless VR/AR controller that allows precise control and movement tracking as well as haptic feedback. The unit houses 7 IMU sensors, 9-axis central sensors, and 5 vibration motors. The key advantage with Senso is that it can provide hand tracking without any 3rd party stand-alone application included, such as depth sensors and stand-alone cameras. It doesn’t require any solution such as Intel Real Sense or Connect for tracking your fingers.
The Glove provides a battery life of up to 10 hours. Interacting with the virtual reality is made easy, thanks to the 5 vibration motors. With very low latency it can provide control for games, drones, robots, pc or smartphones and used as a joystick. Senso is an open-source company and works with the stand-alone developers. The gloves also come with SDK which can be used for different purposes; the range of use is vast.
- 10 hours of battery life
- Stand-alone software
- 6 FoD for position tracking
- Vibration motor fitted on each motor
- Does not support 3-D tracking
3. VR Free Gloves by SensoryX
- VR Free Gloves is currently the only mobile system with integrated 3D hand and finger tracking offering motion capture ability beyond your field of view, with zero latency, millimeter-scale precision, and multi-user capability.
Inside the box, you would find a pair of lightweight, fingertip-less gloves, rechargeable batteries, 1 adaptor, 1 connector cable for the headset and a head module that can be mounted on the headset; like Oculus, HTC Vive, Valve index, MS Mix Reality, Samsung Odyssey, Gear VR, and similar head-mounted displays.
The Gloves come in two variants; consumer variant and business variant.
- The unit is very light in comparison to other gloves
- The processing speed is really fast
- Compatible with almost every HMD
- Needs an additional headcount for to be used with a VR
4. Manus VR Prime Haptic Gloves
- Manus VR Prime Haptic Gloves are the latest VR gloves from Manus. These gloves have interchangeable batteries and are also washable. The Prime Haptic Gloves are compatible with any steam VR compatible module headset, Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest Link. They are primarily made for VR gaming.
The best part, the gloves only take 45 seconds to calibrate according to the user’s hands. Furthermore, gloves are compatible with every hand out there. The company says that these gloves can be used in enterprise sectors for training candidates in simulations. Gloves also have motion tracking which is used by many animation studios and 3-d modeling companies.
- Versatile operation
- Fast calibration time
- Perfect for gaming
- In order to buy these, you have to pay for the license fee, which is renewed every year.
5. BeBop Sensors Forte Data Glove
- Bebop Sensors has developed Forte Data Glove in partnership with Oculus Quest. The gloves allow the user to “feel” the actions done in the virtual world. BeBop sensors have integrated hand-tracking tech with the help of Oculus controller 3D tracking customized for Oculus Quest technology.
Gloves have adjustable straps that can fit for all sizes. Targeting the enterprise market, the gloves can provide real-time touch sensitivity and also textures and surfaces. These gloves are heavily used in simulation training.
The company claims that the gloves provide a full-day battery life, moreover, gloves also feature waterproof sensors for easy washing and usage. The sensor has a refresh rate of 160Hz, which is lightning fast for providing an instantaneous response. There is a built-in lithium-ion battery that charges in just 2 hours to maximum. Calibration time is under 5 seconds.
- Universal open-palm strap design (fits all sizes)
- Fast refresh rate
- 6 haptic actuators; 4 for fingers, 1 for thumb and palm each
- Can be used for gaming but it is enterprise-oriented
- Dexmo gloves are designed by Dexta Robotics that offers both haptic and forced-feedback. For haptic response, 7 vibration motors are employed, meanwhile, forced-feedback comes from each motor connected to each finger and thumbs. Forced feedback gives a sensation of the virtual object actually pushing through your finger. That’s impressive. With all the basic features, gloves also provide additional resistance even when they are connected to power only. This is to feel that additional inertia of your fingers when you try to move.
The gloves offer ample stopping power, it won’t break your fingers but the force is considerable. Dexmo gloves offer compatibility with HTC Vive, Oculus’ touch, and Play Station VR. Dexmo gloves come standard with their SDK which allows the user to assign physical properties to the virtual objects such as texture and shapes.
- Comes with SDK
- Variable feedback for each finger
- Wireless motion capture
- Can be sometimes big to operate
- HaptX gloves can be called the pinnacle of the current VR gloves technology. HaptX is less or gamers and more for enterprise usage. The company will offer SDKs for both Unity, Steam, and Unreal which are more or less plug-n-play. The current version still has 3-foot wires connected to a box that controls the glove sensors. Although, this limits the movability but also gives precise control over virtual objects and responses.
The team at HaptX has put great efforts so that you can feel the lightest touch in the virtual reality setup. There is a palm haptic sesor present too that makes the experience feel ethereal. The HaptX gloves are still not available for commercial use; they are intended to be used in a development environment. Everything in the gloves is the same as the other gloves but with more precision and sensors all over the glove.
With everything so minute and precise, there are some issues too; sometimes the touch sensation is not as quick as it should for small objects and you can’t actually tell the size of the object by holding them in VR.
- Cutting edge technology
- 10 sensors scattered over palm and fingers
- Full finger tracking
- Rather bulky and not available for commercial use
8. Avatar VR
- Avatar VR gloves bring you the sense of touch to virtual reality, with not just your hands but also your arms. Yes, the gloves feature sensors on your arms that track the movement of arms and hands.
There total of 10 sensors on one glove with 2 sensors for arms in addition. Avatar is the first company to focus their campaigns on visually impaired people, unlike just gamers and enterprises. People with visual imparity can feel and touch things. Besides, the company vastly focuses on the enterprise marketplace. Gloves are also ideal for gamers too, they are known for their versatility.
Big brands like BMW, Ericsson, NASA, and Siemens are some partners of the company. Avatar is a brand name you can trust on.
The gloves also offer a decent battery life of 5 to 8 hours on a full charge depending on usage. As the gloves connect using Bluetooth, they can be also used to control many mobile devices. Gloves are also compatible with Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, Samsung VR, Vive, Daydream, Magic leap, Microsoft HoloLens, etc.
- Decent battery life
- Full arm virtual experience
- Getting a license is expensive
9. Perception Neuron 2.0
- Perception Neuron 2.0 gloves are developed by Noitom based in Beijing, China. It can deliver haptic responses and movement tracking for the full body. These gloves come with the suit which delivers awesome performance right out of the box. The unit can record the movement of the head to toe.
The system comes standard with C/C++ SDKs integrated into Unity 3D and Unreal.
The team at Neuron has assimilated sensors at different locations in the suit. Each sensor in itself combines a gyroscope and accelerometer in a very small space. The hub provided in the box can be connected with up to 32 different sensors at 60 fps. It can deliver a better speed of 120 fps with 17 sensors.
The main focus of the company is to capture the attention of animators and filmmakers as well as game developers.
- Accelerometer, gyroscope, and IMU in one sensor
- Vast usage
- Many sensors can be connected to one hub
- Comes as a suit- makes it pricy
10. VR Gluv
- Specially designed for gamers, this haptic response and feedback gloves got everything that you need. From wireless to lightweight and plenty of sensors that provide you a real sense of touch. The Gloves can provide feedback of up to 5 lbs and all this happens wirelessly.
The possible applications can medical, military, enterprise, and gaming. The company has recently started phase II of SBIR with US Air Force. Training is carried for early candidates before they go on to using real-world things. Virtual technology helps the candidates to feel and touch dangerous things in the virtual world before proceeding to real dangerous situations. This significantly helps in saving the cost as training requires huge amount of resources.
The gloves are not commercially available yet; they are limited to enterprise use only.
- High precision
- 5 lbs feedback
- Versatile for use in different applications
- Not commercially available for the average user.
Buying Guide for Best VR Gloves
What is VR are gloves?
As discussed earlier, VR stands for Virtual Reality and VR gloves are used as a user interface between the machine and the user. VR gloves allow users to control virtual objects in the virtual world.
In today’s technology, these gloves use IMU sensors, gyroscopes, and accelerometers to precisely find the location of the hand in the virtual world. Mostly, gloves are wireless and work over Bluetooth with multiple replaceable batteries (Li-ion or Li-Po battery).
How do they work?
Gloves have different input and output sensors all over the surface. The input sensors like IMU, gyroscope, and accelerometer tell the position of gloves in the air. This position is interpreted in virtual reality. The haptic responses are interpreted using vibrator motors and feedback motors.
Sometimes the gloves are also wired and connected to a hub that houses the processor and other units. These kinds of gloves restrict the range of motion. If wireless, batteries are there to give plenty of power.
Where to buy VR Gloves?
Amazon is the biggest marketplace in the world and you can buy a pair for yourself from there. Although amazon is a great option, you can always find some of the gloves listed on official sites. Many of the VR gloves are not listed on Amazon, they are only available through official sites. I would suggest looking for a good deal online before blindly buying them from amazon. Alas, offline stores are also a good option. Although, there are very limited offline stores from where you can these, if you can find one then should buy it from there.
Who should buy these gloves?
In the end, the biggest question stands are; do you really need to buy these gloves? To be honest, you shouldn’t but you should. See, these gloves are made to enhance your virtual reality experience and if don’t own a VR already then you should not consider buying them.
But if you are already into VR gaming, then buying a pair of VR gloves will enhance your experience significantly. Imagine controlling your movements in the games using these gloves. You can even feel the touch in the form of haptic response and forced feedback.
The enterprise marketplace has been benefitted the most with the introduction of VR gloves. Many companies use them to train individuals before actually sending them into the practical training session. This way, candidates are trained prior to any job that involves danger. US military is also using this technology extensively to train there cadets and soldiers.
The medical sector is another case where VR gloves have proven to be very beneficial. Doctors and medical practitioners can be properly trained before actually operating on patients. Many developers use VR gloves to design product in virtual reality.
Different aspects you should consider before buying.
Commercially, these gloves are only available to be used by gamers. So, if you are a hardcore gamer, and have some money to spare then you should buy them right away. Prerequisites to you are already known.
Buy them only when you have a VR headset already or any HMD (Head Mounted Display). There are other “non-VR gloves” too, those gloves are only to control screen in two dimensions space not in three dimensions.
The technology used in VR gloves is far superior but still, it needs refinement. Sometimes the response is slow and small virtual objects are still hard to hold. But the improvement will happen over the years and with the coming time technology will improve.
Buying Based on Performance
As you have seen earlier in the guide, there are many different companies offering different VR gloves with different features. Although, every glove has just one purpose to serve, which is the ability to touch and feel things of the virtual world.
Haptx is a good option when you want to have a powerful VR glove, but not commercially available. Technical specs like latency, refresh rate, processor speed, the intensity of the haptic response, and forced feedback should be considered before buying.
Battery life also plays a very crucial role as it can hamper the user experience significantly if not considered. Other considerations involve material quality and durability. When considering the number of sensors, I think the number of sensors doesn’t really matter, as more than necessary sensors will eat up the battery. It depends on the ability of the company to optimize the gloves properly and provide a good experience even with less number of sensors; this will save the battery too.
The ideal VR Glove
An ideal VR glove is still way too far. But the current technology does look promising. An ideal VR glove would look way slimmer and lighter than the current generation ones. As said earlier, technology has still a long way to go, VR gloves will improve over time. Maybe in the future, the whole glove will be replaced by just one single sensor.
For the present, the ideal VR glove is one that can deliver optimal performance while being cost effective. It should be able to deliver decent battery life with very low latency (a feature that almost all VR gloves offer).
What’s my final Verdict? In my opinion, you should only buy these gloves only when;
a) Already have a VR headset
b) You are a hardcore gamer
c) Some money to spare
All the three points should be your consideration and if you fit in all the three well, then you should buy them right away.
Virtual Reality Gloves are a good way to touch and feel virtual objects. This marketplace is still evolving and finding its way to improvements, like smartphone designs in the early 2000s. But they can, for sure, give you a taste of what future will be like. There are plenty of options available, and now that you know what you should be looking for, you can find the best pair for yourself.