Meta, Facebook’s newly-formed parent company, recently showed off a prototype glove developed by their Reality Labs division.
The gauntlet-looking device, with its actuators and bladders, lets users touch the virtual world, which is both an intriguing and creepy prospect.
Haptic gloves, as Meta calls it, are “comfortable and customizable gloves that can reproduce a range of sensations in virtual worlds, including texture, pressure and vibration.”
During the haptic glove project, the folks at Reality Labs had to develop technologies and do research in perceptual science, soft robotics, microfluidics, hand tracking, haptic rendering, and more, to make the device a reality.
However, a VR-robotics company called HaptX claims that Meta might have taken a few shortcuts by copying their patented technologies.
The core components of this prototype, including the silicone-based microfluidic tactile feedback laminate and pneumatic control architecture, appear to be substantively identical to HaptX’s patented technology.Jake Rubin, Founder and CEO of HaptX – official statement
He also said that HaptX has showcased their technology to engineers, researchers, and executives from Meta before.
According to Rubin, HaptX has yet to get a response from Meta and has not yet closed the door for negotiations.