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Teslasuit unveil incredible VR glove

Virtual reality pioneers Teslasuit have unveiled a glove that allows users to feel ‘virtual textures’. And it’s coming in 2020.

Virtual reality has been primarily geared towards making gaming experiences more immersive in recent years, but Teslasuit – an arm of tech mecca Tesla – are showing that VR has serious real-world applications too.

The latest innovation off the production line of Musk’s ceaseless mind machine is dubbed the ‘Teslasuit Glove’. While the serial entrepreneur continues to invest in Nerualink – the mysterious brain control implant that could supposedly eradicate neurological diseases from the modern world (according to head boff Dr. Matthew McDougall) – the Teslasuit Glove represents the physical side of Musk’s multipronged approach to medical rehabilitation.

Chief engineers at Tesla have combined several different technologies including Haptic Display, Motion Capture, Force Feedback, and Biometry to create the virtual impression of touching and holding objects that don’t actually exist. Now, as an avid gamer I know what you’re thinking, but it may be a while before you’re physically pulling the trigger on your own Covenant Needler Rifle. Priced at around $5,000 a unit, it’s safe to assume this isn’t a home accessory to be paired with your Oculus or even your Vive, though the creators aren’t ruling out future possibilities in the entertainment sphere just yet.

The new glove can be paired with the previously created Teslasuit (which transfers sensations from VR to the body through electrical impulses) to enhance the accuracy and immersion of challenging training regimes across sport, public safety, the military, personal rehabilitation, and even space travel. Or it can be used independently.

Either way, the incredible new technology has seriously raised the bar for virtual reality and what it’s capable of. The intricacies in the functionality are truly groundbreaking. Firstly, each finger includes an array of nine electrodes to recreate the sensation of touching non-existent textures and surfaces, and the plastic exoskeleton surrounding it prompts real-time resistance and vibrations to create an eerily accurate simulation of the human touch. Suddenly I, Robot isn’t looking too farfetched is it?

Like the Teslasuit, the glove also actively captures and records motion of the wearer’s wrist and fingers. Something described as a ‘pulse oximeter’ gathers info on the user’s heartrate to help identify potential issues with arrhythmias (heart murmurs), and can measure stress levels related to a certain stimuli. As well as the obvious medical application, this would potentially allow us to further psychology academia through specific case studies too. The scope of the thing’s use is endless really – permitting the technology is as functional as Teslasuit are suggesting ofc.

It doesn’t bode too well for the tech’s masterminds that their flagship product, the suit itself, was temporarily abandoned in 2016 for reasons unknown. But it has since resurfaced at tech expos the world over including CES 2019, and both the suit and gloves will be on display at CES 2020 at the Teslasuit booth (according to The Verge).

As someone who recently experienced a pretty basic level VR for the first time (click here) I find talk of technological advancements like this fascinating and unnerving in equal measure.

If the walking, talking personification of optimism Mr. Musk has his way, we’ll all be strolling around a terraformed Mars with computer chips in our noggins and exosuits on our waning frames in the not too distant future. If and when that happens, come and drag me out of my retirement home… or reanimate what’s left of me.

 

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