One of the biggest advantages of being Mark Zuckerberg is perhaps the fact that you get access to technologies that would make others drool. The Facebook CEO recently showed off some really cool gloves from Oculus that can let you do all sorts of things, from finger painting, to typing to shooting webs in virtual reality.
Zuckerberg revealed the new prototype gloves while visiting Oculus’s Redmond, Washington based research facility. The gloves appear to be pretty thin and if what can be seen in the picture is all to them, could prove to be very handy and unobtrusive. Indeed, they look like a normal pair of gloves — only a bit cooler.
Speaking on the topic, Zuckerberg said:
We’re working on new ways to bring your hands in virtual and augmented reality. Wearing these gloves, you can draw, type on a virtual keyboard, and even shoot webs like Spider Man. That’s what I’m doing here.
As per TechCrunch, the gloves appear to be accompanied by the OptiTrack Prime 17W cameras. The cameras, in case you are wondering, are there to sense the position of the gloves and relate them with whatever is happening in the VR world.
Oculus’s fascination with the idea of VR gloves isn’t new. The company acquired Israel based Pebbles Interfaces back in 2015. The company was an upcoming name in depth sensing technology and computer vision and among other things, was also developing technology relevant to the idea of VR gloves. At the time of the acquisition, there was a lot of talk of taking VR to the next level.
The team at Oculus’s Washington research facility is led by Michael Abrash. It focuses on some seriously high-tech stuff like advanced optics, eye tracking, mixed reality and new ways to map the human body. All of these fields relate to Oculus’s niche of VR and AR in one way or the other.
The goal is to make VR and AR what we all want it to be: glasses small enough to take anywhere, software that lets you experience anything, and technology that lets you interact with the virtual world just like you do with the physical one.
The picture painted is quite appealing and could introduce a paradigm shift in computing as we know it. The Facebook CEO’s statement about being able to draw, paint and shoot webs like spiderman also suggest that Oculus is in fairly advanced stages of research. The idea of a pair of VR gloves that could complement the headset is very fascinating and together, the devices could actually unlock VR’s true potential.
For example, with the ability to type and paint, keyboards could well become a thing of the past. And don’t even get me started upon the kind of applications the feature would find in gaming.