Traditional VR controllers like the Oculus Touch or the VIVE controllers allow the user to interact with virtual content by pressing buttons and pulling triggers.
This concept of controllers is really a legacy of 2D interaction and useful to simulate a tool (a racket, a weapon, a brush...) that you hold in your hand, but it can never give you the versatility of your hands and especially fingers. With its different buttons it is counter-intuitive to use for most and hampers the immersion of VR.
A realistic representation of and interaction with your hands and fingers enhances the sense of presence and makes the simulation much more intuitive. VRfree® offers exactly that - the ability to interact with VR/AR just like in the real world.
Which button is for what again?
Lots of buttons
However, purely optical hand- and finger-tracking systems like Leap Motion or that of the Oculus Quest often have a hard time to track fingers due to (self-) occlusions caused by the user's own hands. Thus, more reliable solutions are required - like sensors on the hands - as with VR gloves. These will be required anyway once haptic technologies are advanced enough to give tactile and kinesthetic feedback to the user's hands and fingers.
Advantage VRfree® gloves over optical:
- Cannot be occluded by your own hand (rf. video to the left)
- Allows hand-hand interactions where optical AI breaks down
- Out-of-sight (fov) use possible
- Can and will hold haptic feedback
One possibility to track finger gestures is to attach flex sensors over the joints of the finger segments, measuring the degree of bending of the finger.
While this approach is quite robust, it only measures two degrees of freedom for each finger and thus, the spreading of the fingers cannot be be tracked.
The VRfree glove system in contrast deploys multiple inertial measurement units (IMU) on finger segments, capable to measure their full 3D orientation.
Using in-house developed, hardware accelerated sensor fusion algorithms, the VRfree glove is capable of precisely tracking hand gestures at high frame rates and low latency.
As a results you can use your hands and fingers to naturally interact with any virtual object in the same way as you do in the real world, making your journey through virtual reality a fully immersive experience!