Meta, Inc has updated the public on its research and development (R&D) progress on an upcoming haptic glove solution aimed at realising Metaverse-based technologies, it revealed on Tuesday.
The company’s Reality Labs Research divisison stated in a blog post its teams were focused on “inventing the future of interaction in augmented and virtual reality”, adding,
“This team’s goal is to create the technology to solve one of the central challenges of the metaverse: How do we touch the virtual world?”
Citing numerous use cases such as solving virtual 3D puzzles, playing poker games, or performing concerts, Reality Labs Research explained haptic gloves could reproduce sensations in the Metaverse, “including texture, pressure and vibration,” which would work with future AR smart glasses.
According to the division, creating haptic gloves required “inventing entirely new domains of scientific research,” which had been developed over the last seven years to create human-computer interaction solutions “across dozens of disciplines,” the blog post read.
Such fields of research included perpetual science, or the combining of auditory, visual, and haptic feedback for simulating real experiences, soft robotics, which allow robots to communicate sensory information to haptic feedback gloves, and microfluidics, among others.
Facebook developed the world’s first high-speed microfluidic processor, which controls air flow to move tiny motors in haptic gloves, and additional disciplines included hand tracking and haptic rendering used to translate signals to the device, the company explained.
Reality Labs concluded its haptic glove project had “started as a moonshot,” but became “increasingly feasible” as R&D efforts progressed, adding,
“Moving each of these research areas forward requires time to get the technology right, so while our haptic glove research will remain in the lab for now, we’re excited about the progress we’ve made and the potential it shows for a virtual world you can touch”
The news comes after Meta AI said in a blog post in early November it had built its ReSkin solution, which expanded haptic touch capabilities with a plastic membrane infused with magnetic particles.
Meta’s ReSkin technology was created with Carnegie Mellon University and additional researchers to facilitate communication with AI-powered software to control and interact with tactile-sensing robots.