Gloves of the future will allow you to “touch” virtual objects

Scientists from ETH Zurich and EPFL have developed the DextrES glove weighing less than 8 grams, which allows users to sense and manipulate virtual objects. The technology provides a realistic tactile experience and can be battery operated for freedom of movement.

DextrES is made of cotton with thin elastic metal stripes above the toes, which are separated by a thin insulator. When a person’s fingers come into contact with a virtual object, the system pulls the strips together, creating an opposing force that blocks movement. After loosening the grip, the tension goes away and the person can move the phalanges freely..

The glove is capable of generating up to 40 N of reaction force per finger, which requires only a few milliwatts of energy and 200 V. It can also be operated from a small battery. With a thickness of only 2 mm, high precision and freedom of movement are achieved.

Gloves of the future will allow you to 'touch' virtual objects

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The team is currently working to improve the realism of sensations and new ways to influence other receptors in the skin and joints. Next, the engineers will be engaged in scaling the device and creating similar systems for other parts of the body using conductive tissues. Scientists say that the invention will find application not only in the revolution in the video game industry, but also in other areas, for example, in the training of surgeons. The technology can also be used for augmented reality..

Such developments will soon significantly improve the realism of video games. However, Ford, on the contrary, wants to turn driving a car into a game on the mobile (

text: Ilya Bauer, photos and videos: ETH Zurich and EPFL

Gloves of the future will allow you to 'touch' virtual objects

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