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3D Glove Input Device 69

Elyjah writes: "A company called Essential Reality is devloping a 3D Glove input device. They have several demo movies you can watch (if you have Quicktime). The movies show the glove being displayed by runway models (this is amusing), being used in several FPS games, being used as an interface to a a 3D graphics development tool (this looks really cool), and being used with a music application. While truely usable devices like this are probably several years off, it is fun to see what is being worked on."
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3D Glove Input Device

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    "3D Gloves are a cancer." - Steve Ballmer

    "all sporks are ass rapers." - AC

  • How many have been affordable to the consumer?

    There was the powerglove.

    The VPL glove was around $10,000.
  • As someone else mentioned, the glove has a re-center button. Personally, I think this sort of thing is just what gesture recognition was made for; and I know just what gesture I intend to assign to "re-center because I ran out of movement space".

    See figure one [].


  • "With some cleverly placed muscle wires"

    ...You could very nicely simulate heat! I don't know that I'd feel entirely comfortable wearing something constructed with wires that approach 100 degrees C ;-)
  • The screenshots of some of the prototypes look like they have all four fingers and the thumb (The PowerGlove used only the first three and lumped your pinky with the middle finger next to it...).

    Seems they're using some sort of IR based position system instead of the ultrasound pingers from the specifications (Sounds like the positioning system may double as the link back to the computer for wireless operation.).

    Sounds like they've finally re-worked the PowerGlove (Which AGE had been saying for years now that they'd DO this...) with modern position tech (I'll bet they're still using the flexion sensor technology that they developed for the PowerGlove- which was impressive then and is still serviciable now (it'd make it a heck of a lot cheaper to make).
  • The PowerGlove needs a specialized interface (I've got two- but I've not gotten around to it yet...), supported a small position space range because of the ultrasonic positioning system, only 6DOF directly in front of the display, and only 3 fingers and your thumb.

    This is something most likely using the flexion sensor tech from the original glove, with USB support, a larger space (True 6DOF remains to be seen) and higher resolution for the positioning space.
  • Try looking here [] for that...
  • They're not using fiber optics that I can tell (if the claims of the site are correct...)- no infringement with VPL possible.

    They're using a technology that the parent company, one Abrams-Gentile Entertainment, developed and patented for their purposes. The company, AGE, worked with Mattel to develop the PowerGlove- so no infringement with Mattel possible since Mattel licensed it from AGE.
  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:57AM (#183096) Homepage
    (no one's tried to hack this for the Linux ... yet).

    I do believe you're wrong... :-)

    [] s/ linux-powerglove.README linux-powerglove.tgz [] []

    These links are the README, driver files, and schematic for the Menelli box interface (Which looks a LOT like the one mentioned in your links) for the PowerGlove...
  • This is the same company that owns the matel patent. In effect, this is the next generation PowerGlove, but with a lot of extra goodies added eg Full finger motion, not just pinch, 6DOF tracking etc. The demos even had some gesture recognition built into it (eg point to move forward etc)

    This is not exactly a new thing. It was being demonstratedat Siggraph last year (Late July) so it has been around for almost a year now. Don't know why it is taking so long to develop though. The interface is all USB and I offered to write Linux drivers for it last year. The sales and technical people seemed extremely interested at that prospect (and also for Java3D) but they never got back to me :(

  • OJ can't get his hands into the 3D glove either. He's waiting for the 4D glove.
  • Would be great if they could be used, and probably can, with 3D Shutter Glasses [] (FedEx should be delivering mine today).

    Check out BG is Alfred E Newman at
  • Am I the only one who caught this line in their first movie?

    "By tracking your hand movements, the P5 simplifies work for everyone, including animators, architects, and web servers."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but where is a 3D environment used on web servers? Plus, in the context they use, it sounds like "web servers" is a job. It's like saying "simplifies work for waiters, teachers, managers, and banana".

    My BS alarm is going off on full alert. :)
  • 6DOF tracking, good finger position pickup, and gesture recognition where all demonstrated at Siggraph 94 (I was there). This stuff has just been taking a long time to get to PCs probably because people are having trouble finding ways to use it that will convince buisness people to spend money to fund a project.

    To set things staight, I used a Power Glove in my last high school science project (6 years ago), and it had 4DOF tracking (x,y,z plus wrist rotation along the axis of the arm (which didn't work very well)) and gesture recognition. The Power Glove sends 2-bits for each of 4 fingers (excludes the small one that isn't the thumb) to describe how far the whole finger is bent.

    The project I displayed those 6 years ago used simple gestures to move through the enviornment and to select, move, and rotate objects in the environment. It also allowed moving by use of the directional pad.

  • Hush! Now Uncle Steve will want us to FEEL Aqua instead of just licking it! :)

    Back on topic now, I can imagine this getting really tiring! I mean, sure, I don't have the most developed biceps in the universe, but can you imagine trying to play UT (or insert game of choice) for a couple of hours using ONLY the glove? Seem like a recipe for sore arms to me.
    On the other hand (hah!) I think a glove such as this would be great for 3D modelling in combination with a standard mouse/keyboard arrangement. I know when I was using PowerAnimator all day, at certain times I'd just get frustrated as hell with the mouse and want some sort of 3D input just to make some tricky spline manouver.

    But as with everything, I'd wanna try it first. Remember those Orb controllers? They weren't too bad.
  • Modeling Agency: Okay, we have four paradigm models available, and another six who can only think without paradigms. But three of those six are also actors who can do a paradigm impression.
  • Actually OJ's hands were/are in the 4D glove, unfortunately the jury only has pseudo-3D perception (two 2D eyeballs in parallax), thus they only saw a small part of the 4D object (3D timeslice during trial) not the part where he was wearing them while killing Ron & Nicole....

    #include "disclaim.h"
    "All the best people in life seem to like LINUX." - Steve Wozniak
  • Want to know more about homebrew VR (and in turn, hooking up the Powerglove, and building your own glove device) than you can stand?

    Click here []...

    Worldcom [] - Generation Duh!
  • AGE is the parent of Essential Reality, and is a licensee of the VPL idea of a glove input device - and thus no violations have occurred because Essential Reality is in essence AGE, correct?

    If that is correct, then it answers my question...

    Worldcom [] - Generation Duh!
  • by cr0sh ( 43134 ) on Friday June 01, 2001 @12:38PM (#183107) Homepage
    How did they get around the VPL/Mattell patents?

    For those that don't know, VPL made the VPL DataGlove, back in the early 90's. They also worked with Mattel to create the Nintendo PowerGlove. Unfortunately, their patent on using a glove-type input device kinda locked everything up - very few ways around the patent have ever been found. Most alternative glove input methods have been either klunky (one is a very intricate mechanical waldo like device that is fitted to the hand and uses hall-effect sensors to gauge the angle of the joints - very accurrate, but also hard to put on and take off, and expensive - not that the VPL DataGlove was cheap), or focused on other methods (such as detecting fingers touching together, rather than finger angles).

    The only thing I can figure is that they either bought the patent rights, or are licensing them. Either way, I would much rather see a glove based on the fiber optic technology of VPL, rather than the flexible stress sensors the PowerGlove uses (and it does look like that is what they are using)...

    If anyone wants more info on glove devices, etc for VR and such (PowerGlove interfacing to PC, etc), check out my website []...

    Worldcom [] - Generation Duh!
  • I love the power glove.... its so bad! *Snooty look*

    That movie sucked!
  • I love the powerglove©©© it is soooo rad! Of all the 90 minute commercials that I watched in my youth, the Wizard had to be the best© They showed shots of MARIO THREE!
  • If you ever come across the PC hookup specs, please let me know -- I have an old powerglove here that I havent used in YEARS. >:)

  • by outlier ( 64928 ) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:34AM (#183111)
    This type of device, while pretty cool for input, would be much cooler if it incorporated force feedback technology.

    Until that's done, this doesn't seem much more impressive than Nintendo's Powerglove (which was cool, but didn't really do wonders for the game playing experience IMHO).

    For more on various glove interfaces, see this page []

  • Yeah, I was wondering where the reviewer was when I had my powerglove hooked up to my PC.

    I'm sure you can still find the schematics for attaching one to a parallel port.
  • This glove was invented solely for playing Black and White [].
  • The video shows web browsing with the data glove,
    probably not the best use of it, but when the glove supposedly types keywords into the search
    form only gibberish comes out. I can only assume
    that this is an actual video of glove use and that
    using it for keyboard input is impossible.. unless
    there is an absolute spatial positioning device in
    the glove. It just looks like it pans a mouse
    horizontally and you can't actually type on a keyboard that is bigger than the glove.

    The piano demonstration is also useless, since it
    only shows the glove accurately hitting keys within the width of the glove. Now if they had a glove on each hand (amazing idea it is) and were actually playing a piano with sound coming out realistically I'd be impressed.

    The 3d modelling demo which looks kind of neat,
    unfortunately is hard to follow since the most interesting part (modelling the shapes of the body and head parts) is completely obscured by the opaque glove, which doesn't seem to be doing a lot of work. One wonders if the parts were not mostly pre-created. (Though the tail creation segment is interesting). I would be more interested in the glove being able to accurately direct a modeling or music playing session than in requiring full haptic feedback (which probably would be too expensive for this product I expect). That is probably going to be reserved for phantom-like systems which can handle one or two fingers of full force feedback I'd guess.

    Finally The AXE is demoed. I know the guys who did it, and it is really cool software. But you don't finger a trumpet's keys to play the trumpet (and it looks more like a clarinet but anyway..) Their system uses mouse, joystick, keyboard, or any kind of MIDI input, they even made a gesture sensor which was apparently pretty cool. The idea with their system is that you cannot make a misstep because all kinds of agents make sure your input is constrained to something which matches the melody; it is the ultimate air guitar and so a silly way to try and demonstrate a glove, which in this case is just being used as a mouse.

    Where's the beef? Well, looks like they spent a little bit of money on the video sequences. Not a ton, but some. I'd like to know for example how accurate the thing is at pointing at discreet locations in three space from a given point, or if there are any actual applications for which the glove would be satisfactory and superior to a mouse or joystick. Something which uses gestures like the open hand to scroll down a page, but for music creation, might be fun.
  • How many glove interfaces have there been over the years? At least a dozen. Aside from the Nintendo Power Glove, does anyone really remember them? Were they really all that useful? Honestly, unless such a device had some sort of tactile-feedback, it would still be pretty pointless.

    What we really need is to skip this silly stuff and find a way to plug a computer RIGHT INTO MY BRAIN! Imagine just plugging a wire into the back of your head, and having all nervous input and output to the hands redirected toward a computer, which would send back the appropriate sensations! That would impress me. Yet another glove that does little more than the one I used to play Ridge Racer when I was eight is nothing special.
  • by Tom7 ( 102298 )
    Imagine if you could play Mike Tyson's Punch-Out(TM) with this!!! SWEET!@!!!

  • OK Moderators --

    You modded down the 7th post as redundant. Please concentrate!
  • Seriously, how does this differ from the myriad glove input devices which have existed for decades?

    Gloves are old news, and although I admit that a cheap, accurate one would be interesting, I don't see how this warrants front-page news. Their site reeks of late-eighties Virtual Reality hype...
  • Has anyone tried using a VR glove as a keyboard device? It seems to me that getting some freedom of movement in the shoulders and arms would help some people with typing injuries. Also, combined with video glasses, you could build a nice wearable computer. You could program while walking around or lying in bed.
  • Yup, if you still have one of these you can wire it to you PC (no one's tried to hack this for the Linux ... yet).

    Do it yourself version []
    Pay for the parts version []

  • Tomb Raider!!
    Now you can also touch!!
  • This sort of thing has been out for a while. The Nintendo Powerglove works quit well and you can still find the specs for hooking it up to a PC :)
  • it's websurFers... they even show someone browsing a page later on
  • I need a device that reads my brain.

    Shoot that pixel on that guy's head.

    Move there NOW!

    Seriously, has anybody else had problems similar to playing the old Nintendo Tetris @ level 30 and finding that the pieces fall so fast that it's impossible to even move them to the right or left side of the screen? If I could think where the next piece should be and have it so, this problem wouldn't exist.

    Image the type of gameplay where reaction time is cut 95% or so.

  • I agree. I can see one big area where the mouse and keyboard clearl win over the P5. That is, with the mouse and keyboard, you can take your hands off anytime you want. It seems that with the glove(s), any hand movement is interpreted as a command. If you get an itch on your forehead, it takes two seconds to deal with if you're using a mouse and keyboard. On the other hand, if you're using a glove that tracks your every movement, you would either have to take the glove off or place it in some kind of mode where it's not reading commands. It would be a real pain if something normally harmless like scratching your ear caused data to be erased...

    I guess that's what 'Undo' is for

  • Genius! Genius!

    How did this possibly get modded 0???

  • This type of device, while pretty cool for input, would be much cooler if it incorporated force feedback technology.

    From a MacCentral review about the P5 (here []):

    Essential Reality has mapped out a plan to take P5 through several stages. A wireless product is on tap. Future plans call for the ability to monitor sweat and pulse and, eventually, a product with tactile feedback.


  • What we really need is to skip this silly stuff and find a way to plug a computer RIGHT INTO MY BRAIN! Imagine just plugging a wire into the back of your head, and having all nervous input and output to the hands redirected toward a computer, which would send back the appropriate sensations! That would impress me.

    Oh yeah, I wanna give access to my brain and central nervous system to every script kiddie with half a clue worldwide. Can you say, 'remote control of the unwilling'?

  • I don't see the big deal-- over ten years ago I had one of these, designed for the most important application of all.. Video games! Power Glove, anybody? ;) w00t!
  • Will the Mac version have just one finger, so as to be consistent with the mouse?
  • er, would you like to click on the goatse link with one of these plugged in?

    -since when did 'MTV' stand for Real World Television instead of MUSIC television?
  • Essential Reality used to give away free t-shirts from their website to who ever wanted it, and the developers were pretty attentive when I emailed a year ago. I'm surprised this hasnt been on slashdot before.

    BTW. the t-shirts are and green and shiny silver! You have to register and win them now though :(
  • by B00yah ( 213676 ) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:44AM (#183133) Homepage
    MacWorld has an article up here. [] It goes over the glove being used in Mac OS X, and other novel ideas...
  • ... touchable pr0n?
  • I love my Power Glove... It's so bad. -- The Wizard

  • This has already been done.
    This was a great idea IN 1987!

    I had a powerglove and it sucked. Mike Tyson was no easier to beat with or without the glove.

    And what really pissed me off was that you had to have some book for it, which I lost of course. If this has no book, i'm set.
  • haven't you ever seen the film hackers? one day EVERY machine will be interfaced by flying around a colourful 3D virtual environment, and admins really will have to *chase* hackers out, that'd be cool actually, mod_counterstrike for apache then you could just sit there with a sniper rifle and pick 'em off.
  • Somewhere in here there's a really great one-liner about pr0n and one-handed typing... it'll come to me...

    - B

  • It seems to me that this glove would be far better suited to a game like "Black & White", where you actually have a "hand" to use on the screen. A glove like this could make the (slightly confusing) gesture system in Black and White a little easier to master, as well as giving you an actual feel of picking up, throwing, and other actions commonly used in the game.

  • Powerglove [] anyone?

    Dancin Santa
  • It has a "re-center" thingy on it.
  • Check this out: yberfo rce.html

  • I'm waiting more the the next step in tactile feedback devices. The full VR genital mitt, of course.
  • ok where are the VR goggles, yes, you too can be johnny neumonic...

    "whoa, dude"

  • All I did was pick my nose with this silly glove, and Mozilla went straight to Slashdot. Wonder where it'll go if I scratch my ass instead?

    Oh, I see. Post Comment.

  • I've had the idea of a 3-D GUI ever since I got my first mouse with a wheel. The glove would make it easier and cooler. Imagine layers of files and, for the glove less, you go up and down layers with your mouse's wheel. With the glove, you'd simply make a "come hither" or pushing motion to go up and down levels.

    As for use in FPS, I'm doubtful. I came *this* close to ordering one of those "fin rings" -- which are wireless mice that you war on your hand... you tilt them one way or the other to move the mouse pointer.

    Unless there is a gesture for "Kill Heavy Weapons Guy" I imagine the glove will work the same way. Tilting your hand one way or the other might not be the most accurate or responsive method. I read a review of the fin ring and its use in FPSs and it didn't sound too promising. Since the concept is similar, I think the usage will be limited.

    This comparision is invalid if the fin ring is digital instead of analog (i.e. you're moving left or you're not moving left, no inbetween).

  • Formula for Karma on Slashdot:

    1) story with about new technology item

    2) PrOn statements like

    a)the only way this will work is if the pr0n industry adopts it.

    b)ewww how do we clean it?

    c)Does it provide tactile feed back?

    3)Been there done that

    a)See this link and that link and whatever link, see??? it's been done before

    b)This is so old news, slashdot ran an article on this 3 months, 2 days, 7 mins ago

  • I can just imagine trying to get a modelling agency on board to supply the runway models:

    Modelling Agency: And you want the models to wear what exactly?

    Essential Reality: Our new 3D computer interface glove! It's going to revolutionize the thought paradigms about data manipulation!

    MA: And you want them to do what?!

    ER: Just a little. . .To get the consumers's attention so we can showcase all the, er, features of the, er, device

    MA: We'll have to get back to you on this once we talk it over.. .. .. ..
  • Simply strap on some radio transcievers onto a person's wrists, ankles, and different joints. Then set up some detectors in a circle around em. You could have mach VR martial arts matches... But there are issues of social ramifications that come as a result of the two player version of this game that you'd never see it in arcades... Well unless the solo verion did killer
  • Perhaps a play of Intel's massive marketing schemes? P4... P5... Interesting product positioning.

    The One,
    The Only,
    --The Kid
  • by srvivn21 ( 410280 ) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:31AM (#183151)
    Finally a 3-D glove! I've had such a tough time fitting my hands into the 2-D variety...
  • That's three words.
    • Imagination is more important than knowledge.
  • I know how I'll be spending these long, summer nights...
  • by castoridae ( 453809 ) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:36AM (#183154)
    I think that a real breakthrough for this sort of device would be a haptic output. When you touch a virtual object, you should be able to feel it.

    With some cleverly placed muscle wires (these wires lengthen and contract according to the voltage applied), the glove could provide resistance when you touch a virtual object.

    Acutally, if there were different muscle wires in each finger of the glove, and a 3-d tracking system were employed, then the user could feel a large "object" as their hand moves through the air. (i.e. a bump in the surface is felt by whichever finger happens to be at it's cooridnates).
  • If your mouse isn't in the right spot, you just pick it up and move it. Does this device have a way to do the same thing?

    A "virtual typing" application could be useful. A keyboard might be less stressful and infinitely more configurable if you didn't have to physically touch any keys.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."