Teslasuit — known for its full-body haptic feedback suit — is introducing a glove that can let users feel virtual textures and gather biometric data. The device is called simply the “Teslasuit Glove,” and it will debut at CES in January, with the goal of shipping by the second half of 2020.
The new glove can be used in combination with the suit or separately. Teslasuit announced that it integrates “haptics, motion capture, biometry, and force feedback” to enable users to feel virtual textures. It could potentially be used for tele-control systems or for medical rehabilitation, and the company claims it can gather real-time data so it could even be used to monitor users’ stress levels or heart rate.
According to The Verge report in 2016, the Teslasuit first came to prominence with a Kickstarter for its full-body VR suit, that project was eventually abandoned which is never a good sign. However, the body suit somehow came to fruition anyway and was presented at CES 2018.
Teslasuit is one of several haptics and motion control companies that launched during the mid-’10s VR boom, appealed initially to consumers, then shifted to business customers.
In 2016, the company launched the suit on Kickstarter, but it canceled that campaign and officially announced its first product in 2018.
It’s since demonstrated potential applications in astronaut training, emergency evacuation drill practice, and other simulation scenarios.
The Teslasuit Glove will compete with existing products from companies like HaptX and Manus VR. The gloves include basic haptic and force feedback capabilities: an array of nine electrodes on each finger produces the sensation of touching a nonexistent surface, while a plastic exoskeleton creates resistance and vibration to simulate interacting with solid objects.
Though there are plenty of videos of people wearing the suit, it doesn’t appear to be possible to actually buy one yet. The suit was demoed again at CES 2019, where the company said it was to be used for tasks in dangerous environments including astronaut training, fuel loading training, and emergency evacuation training.