The TactGlove haptic VR gloves, by bHaptics, were launched at CES 2022. In this article, we’ll go over everything to know about the haptic technology-based TactGlove and how to buy them. Here’s an overview of the contents of this article.
- What is the bHaptics TactGlove?
- How do the TactGlove haptic VR gloves work?
- TactGlove images and trailer
- TactGlove features
- TactGlove release date and price
- Are the TactGlove haptic VR gloves worth it?
Haptic gloves so far have only been viable to businesses due to their beefy and uncomfortable designs and exorbitant prices.
TactGlove seems to change the game with its camera-based hand-tracking system that enhances the quality of the haptic feedback. This in turn makes them far less expensive.
Should you have any questions about the TactGlove haptic VR gloves, leave them down in the comments section below.
So without any further ado, let’s get started!
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What is the bHaptics TactGlove?
bHaptics, the Korean virtual reality company, provides haptics solutions for VR experiences. They are best known for their full-body haptic suit called the TactSuit. It has native compatibility with more than 100 VR apps and a few SteamVR titles.
Some of the natively supported VR apps are:
- Unplugged: Air Guitar
- Hand Physics Lab
- bHaptics Player
At CES 2022, bHaptics announced the brand new TactGloves. Attendees had an opportunity to try these at the company’s booth with the existing TactSuit lineup.
All the haptic gloves ever produced till date have been heavily focused on providing hand-tracking solutions for businesses due to their bulky designs and sky-high prices.
The TactGlove however utilizes the camera-based hand-tracking systems that enhances the haptic feedback. Thus, it sells at a much lower price rate than the rivals.
TactGloves comes in three sizes:
- Extra Large
It is made of light and stretchable fabric which makes it easy to wear, just like regular hand gloves. bHaptics has also taken the hygiene factor into consideration by adding an inner lining which is easily washable and replaceable.
Here’s what Kluk Gwak, CEO of bHaptics, said about TactGlove in a statement:
“We are committed to connecting people through the haptic technology and TactGlove truly marks a milestone in that sense because it allows people to have a realistic interaction not only with virtual objects, but also with their friends and colleagues in VR/AR settings at a very affordable price. We are excited to see changes that TactGlove will bring to the virtual interaction as we move into the Metaverse era.”Kluk Gwak, bHaptics CEO
What are the company’s plans on the developer kits and official release? Find out in the TactGlove release date section of this article! For now, let’s get to the functioning mechanism of TactGlove.
How do the TactGlove haptic VR gloves work?
The all-new haptic TactGlove VR gloves come packed with a total of 10 LRA-type motors. LRA stands for Linear Resonant Actuator. It is an electromechanical device that provides tactile feedback on vibration. The tactile feedback is called haptic.
The Linear Resonant Actuator (LRA) motors are placed at each fingertip of the TactGlove. These motors are easily controllable by the bHaptics SDK which empowers the developers to program intricate realistic feedback.
How does this affect the gameplay? When you place your fingers on surfaces, motors activate and give you a better feel of the objects you touch. You might be able to visualize the motors functioning in synergy with each other, much like the TactSuit X-40 and X-16.
Check out the below video from Proper D that compares the TactSuit X-40 vs X-16. The left top corner of the screen shows the motor activation visualization in the Pistol Whip gameplay.
Note that TactGlove is compatible with Meta Quest and Ultraleap’s Leap motion camera-based hand tracking systems. So if you own a Meta Quest, you will soon be able to use the TactGlove on it once the product is officially launched in the market. Also, bHaptics is working on native compatibility with the Quest games.
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TactGlove Images and Videos
Check out the official trailer for the first consumer-ready TactGlove as released at CES2022.
Here’s the first look of the TactGlove haptic VR gloves by bHaptics.
TactGlove haptic VR gloves features
Listed below are the key features of the first consumer-ready wireless haptic gloves, TactGlove.
- Bluetooth connectivity – Lets you connect to PC VR and camera-based hand tracking systems like the Quest 2 via Bluetooth
- 10 LRA motors for precise tactile feedback – Motors at each fingertip will help you get the realistic feel on touching objects in the virtual world
- Medium, Large, and Extra Large sizes – Inclusive product range with a variety of sizes for all hand sizes
- Lasts for up to 4 hours playtime
- Hygiene-centric with a washable and replaceable inner lining
- Light and stretchable fabric
TactGlove release date and price
The developer kits for the TactGlove haptic VR gloves will be out in the Q2 of 2022 on the bHaptics official website. You can request a dev kit here.
bHaptics plans to launch the consumer version of the haptic VR gloves at $299 per pair towards the end of 2022. This gives enough time for the game developers to add support for this product.
We’ll update this guide with the best deal once the consumer-version is launched. Stay tuned!
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Are the TactGlove haptic VR gloves worth it?
Is $299 for vibrating fingertips worth it? For most people, of course, not! But this technology is surely a step in the right direction.
Firstly, the fact that touch is one of the most complex and sophisticated senses to emulate has some merit in it.
Attaching the LRA motors only to the fingertips will certainly not reproduce the realistic tactility human hands experience. However, the idea of starting with fingertip-based LRAs deserves some appreciation.
Fingertips have the most nerve endings than anywhere else in the body. They can tell the difference between different textures, temperature changes, surface smoothness, and even minuscule furrows.
Secondly, bHaptics is planning to expand its native compatibility to both SteamVR and Oculus games. So, the 299 USD investment will definitely be worth it in the long run.
It might sound weird to spend the above amount for simply vibrating the fingertips. However, the most professional and affluent VR enthusiasts will throw their money on it.
As the market continues to grow, we expect other VR companies to push the glove tech and make its implementation into VR gaming much more affordable.
What are your thoughts on TactGlove haptic VR gloves? Would you buy one when it is launched for the consumers? Let us know in the comments section below.