Can you imagine burning your fingertips or feel that ice freezes your hand as you interact with a program of virtual reality? The Mexican company Vivoxie created Power Claw, a pair of gloves with an interface that stimulates the skin and allows the sense of touch in cyber worlds.
The device generate the sensation of heat, cold, vibration and roughness of objects that are part of a virtual reality, however, the gloves are complemented with Oculus Rift glasses.
Leap Motion software was also implemented to identify the user's hands in different simulations. In relation to this, the development team at Vivoxie created two demos with the Unity platform, used in the creation of videogames for a console or the web, said Enya Vera, responsible for the area of business intelligence at the company.
One of the game demos simulates the interior of a building where the user must perform small tasks. For example, users must hurl thunderbolts with their hands to destroy a number of targets, open the doors of an elevator, shoot fireballs and feel their fingers burn or freeze when lifting a piece of ice, explained Vera.
With this trial version of the game, the Vivoxie team attended the Gamescom 2015 in Germany where they made the presentation of the first PowerClaw prototype, which has three actuators in the thumb, index and medium fingers that allow the different sensations are connected to the electronic circuit and the signal to the demo that runs on the computer is sent. "
The aim is to offer Power Claw as a peripheral or accessory device to be used in different applications (apps) not limited to video games, for example education, medicine or engineering. Firstly, Vivoxie will make its own apps to work with the gloves to later depend on the developers and their needs.
That is why the team is seeking partnerships with other companies. However, it is necessary to develop API and SDK files to discuss a possible alliance, and how they can adapt the use of gloves and glasses to Oculus Rift and other applications, added the interviewee.
The medium-term goal is for the glove to work with both the applications of the company as well as those created by different developers. Therefore, API and SDK files must be released to the public, inviting developers to generate new apps that require the Power Claw.
Moreover, it is noteworthy that the device has limited power management, and the actuators consume too much electricity when changing from a hot to a cold sensation, so it is not yet feasible to use them wirelessly.
The project had the scientific backing of the University of Queretaro and Puebla (center states of Mexico) and from the Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESO). The product will be ready by mid-2016, but one can already pre-order it from their web site (www.vivoxie.com) for $399.