While virtual reality users may be able to see things soon thanks VR headsets such as Microsoft's HoloLens, they will not be able to touch and feel the virtual objects.
However, that is about to change thanks to smart gloves dubbed Gloveone, which will enable users to feel sensations such as rainfall, heat, flitting of a butterfly, shapes (and even weight of an object) when interacting with virtual objects.
The brainchild of Spain-based NeuroDigital Technologies, Gloveone aims to give VR users a more immersive experience and will enable them to "feel" what they see.
"Gloveone enables users to feel and touch any virtual object that they can see on the screen or in their VR headsets. If a virtual apple is shown on the screen, with Gloveone, you will be able to feel its shape or weight, sense all of its physical features, and even smash it!" says the company on Kickstarter.
So what makes the physical sensation possible, you wonder? The gloves have several sensors built in, which can be found near the thumb, index, and middle fingers, as well as the palm. These sensors have the ability to sense each other so that the wearer can perceive what it is like to grasp a VR object such as a book or a pen.
When you see the rose petals wafting scene from American Beauty on your VR headsets, you will be able to feel the petals as if you're physically present thanks to Gloveone.
The gloves have a 9-axis IMU or inertial measurement unit sensor. This type of sensor is normally deployed to record gravitational forces and velocity and is used by aircraft.
Touch sensations can be translated into vibrations because of the technology. Each pair of gloves has 10 actuators that are located on the fingertips and the palm. These vibrate individually and at varied intensities and frequencies, which result in the production of touch sensations that are accurate.
Gloveone is anticipated to ship by February 2016 and has a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. At the time of writing, the wearable has 188 supporters and has raised more than $53,000 of its target of $150,000. With 30 more days to go, it remains to be seen if Gloveone gets the required fund.
You can pledge your support at Gloveone's Kickstarter page.