VR Articles

Should I take VR gloves and how to choose them: step by step instructions + TOP 6 best models

Hello dear readers. The most common game controllers – joysticks and gamepads – are suitable for controlling games and virtual reality applications.

You can even get by with a standard mouse and keyboard. But if you want to achieve the maximum effect of presence, it is better to use vr gloves. They allow you to track the movements of not only hands, but even fingers, they can have tactile feedback and significantly expand the list of available actions in virtual reality games.

What are they and why are they needed

Externally, VR gloves are similar to ordinary cycling gloves made of thick fabric. They are distinguished only by the presence of a small block on the wrist – there is electronics and a battery. However, there are also unusual looking models, for example, Plexus gloves, worn on the fingers from above, but leaving the entire lower part of the palm open.

Each glove is equipped with a set of sensors (accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, barometers, sensors) and is able to recognize the movements of hands and fingers, transmitting information to the VR application.

The possible scope of gloves is not limited only to games. This type of controller is used in smart home systems, in professional educational and training programs, in the development of specialized applications, in augmented reality devices. Some models are not available for free sale and are distributed only among developers, but there are also mass-produced devices, for example, Captoglove.

Principle of operation

Gloves for virtual reality helmets are a rather complex device. The gadget is equipped with numerous sensors that track the movements of the hand and fingers on it. The most advanced models are able to register the folds of the fingers in the phalanges. The wrist usually houses a microprocessor, a wireless module, and a battery. However, there may not be a battery – often gloves are connected to a computer or console via a cable.

Despite the complex technical design of the device, the principle of operation is quite simple. As soon as the user changes the position of the hand / finger / fingers or performs certain actions / gestures with the hand, information about the new coordinates is transmitted to the application on the PC.

The picture in the helmet changes dynamically – the user sees a virtual projection of his own hands, repeating the movements in the real world. If he performs certain actions, for example, he reproduces the opening of the door with his hand in reality, a virtual door opens in the VR application.

Tracking the movement of the user’s hands and fingers, as well as measuring the speed at which these movements occur, are made using gyroscopes, magnetometers and accelerometers. The presence of a barometer in the device allows you to additionally assess the degree of pressure created by the hands or fingers of the player.

In modern models, all sensors are hidden inside the gloves – which is why they look little different from ordinary gloves. The first devices were often equipped with IR sensors located on each finger. A special IR camera received data on the movement of the sensors. There are no external sensors in the new devices, just as there are no cameras.

Models for gamers are increasingly equipped with small vibration motors for haptic feedback. For example, in shooters, such a connection manifests itself in the form of recoil from shooting. There are devices with thermal sensors that transfer heat to the hands.

Is it worth buying

Buying gloves in any case will be associated with significant costs. The approximate price for the popular CaptoGlove model is about $700, that is, the device is comparable in cost or even more expensive than a VR helmet. But there are also more affordable models, such as the Plexus, which cost around $250 a pair. True, the cheaper the gloves, the fewer sensors they have and the fewer degrees of freedom they provide.

If the financial side of the issue is not critical, then buying gloves for a VR helmet can be considered a good idea. The number of games with support for this type of controller continues to increase, the gameplay becomes more exciting and unusual, sometimes the gameplay changes dramatically.

The degree of immersion in the virtual world is also increasing. The user no longer has to hold a mouse or gamepad in his hands, he interacts with his environment with his own hands, while also receiving a tactile connection.

Unfortunately, there are no advanced VR gloves for consoles yet. Only relatively simple models are available, but it is known that Sony is actively working in this direction. Own controller is preparing to introduce a startup HaptX, which has already managed to release several pre-release versions.

There are no gloves for virtual reality glasses either. However, to play on a smartphone, gloves are unlikely to be needed in the near future due to their high cost and the lack of suitable gaming applications.

Advantages

The main advantages of using VR gloves:

  • Additional degrees of freedom
  • Greater, compared to joysticks, interactivity
  • Increasing the effect of immersion in the game
  • Tactile feedback
  • Changing gameplay

The user can raise his hands, move them closer or further away from his face, move his fingers, and all his actions will be played in a VR game, displayed on the screen of the helmet. This significantly enhances the effect of immersion in the virtual world, increases interactivity, and changes the game mechanics. Instead of deflecting the joystick or pressing buttons, the player interacts with the virtual world through gloves, and can feel it with their own fingers.

Selection Tips

The choice is made much more difficult by the fact that VR gloves are not widely available in retail stores. Major electronics manufacturers have not yet released their own mass models, and those devices that are created by the efforts of start-ups. The best and often the only way to get the right gloves is to order online on the company’s website.

So far, when choosing gloves, you have to be guided to a greater extent by video reviews and comments from the owners. It is not always possible to “feel” the same Captoclavs live. You can get acquainted with the controllers in VR salons and game rooms, but one or two models will be available to choose from.

Rating of the best

  • Control VR
  • GloveOne
  • PowerClaw
  • CaptoGlove
  • Plexus
  • Flexpoint USB Glove Kit

How to connect and what to play

Connection usually does not cause difficulties, but in the process of connecting to a PC, problems may arise (for example, the need to install drivers), so keep the instructions handy and do not turn off the Internet. Some models support wireless Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, while others connect directly to a computer’s USB port.

Gloves can be used in almost all VR games. They are also compatible with conventional games, successfully replacing the gamepad. You can play in:

  • The black
  • DOOM VFR
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • SuperHot
  • Farpoint
  • ARCTIC.1
  • Fallout 4 VR
  • Star Trek: The Bridge Crew

Conclusion

It cannot be said that gloves for virtual reality helmets have become as accessible and widespread as a controller, like a gamepad or joystick, but they are gradually occupying their niche. So far, new devices are developed, presented and supported mainly by startups.

The main limitation for the end user is the rather high price. Nevertheless, for a VR helmet, this is one of the most interesting accessories, which significantly enhances the effect of involvement in the virtual world and adds new features to the game.

This concludes our article. Do not forget to subscribe to new reviews and share useful materials on social networks.

Leave a Comment