Sony patent for haptic feedback glove leaves the door open for full-body immersion

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

According to a filing with USPO, Sony might be working on a haptic glove accessory for the PSVR. It’s not a new concept. Contact CI, HaptX, the EPFL, and others are all working on gloves that can provide force feedback in virtual environments.

However, Sony’s tech seems to be somewhat different. While the patent application is for a glove, the haptic device itself can be used in other clothing including “a hat, footwear, pants or shirt.” It can also be mounted within the VR headset itself.

What this essentially means is that at some point down the road, Sony envisions a Ready Player One-like full body suit. For the short term though, the engineers seem focused on the glove aspect.

"The haptic device can be disposed in an article of clothing capable of being worn by a user such as a glove, a hat, footwear, pants or shirt. The haptic device can also be disposed in the head mounted display. "

The filing describes a variety of mechanisms to provide tactile sensations including compressed gas, an electric motor, a piezo-electric device, heating or cooling elements, or even phase changing materials.

According to Sony’s description of the glove, one or more of these mechanisms should be able to to provide accurate enough feedback to not only feel the shape of an object, but also the texture. It should also respond appropriately to the amount of pressure put on the virtual object. In other words, a baseball is going to feel different than a sponge when you squeeze it.

Again, keep in mind this is only a patent. Thousands of filings a year go unrealized. It is also just an application. It has not been granted by the USPO yet.

However, with the extra horsepower provided by the PlayStation 5 (or whatever they end up calling it), it will be interesting to see where Sony goes with PlayStation VR.

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Godel

TS Addict
This again asks the question of why we're granting patents to things that don't exist yet or are obvious general ideas.
 

goldman

TS Rookie
Can somebody explain to me why there arent gloves for VR that use the same techonology as motion capture? is it something too hard to use currently?
 

SolidSneak

TS Rookie
Can somebody explain to me why there arent gloves for VR that use the same techonology as motion capture? is it something too hard to use currently?
I think that there isn't a solution that's cheap enough for consumer distribution - anyone paying more than $300 should be able to create a setup though.