Gamers have long dreamed of a truly immersive way of controlling their games with just hand gestures. And although gaming gloves have been around for a while, they haven't been very practical.
Now, a new team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has created a smart glove — called 'InfinityGlove' — that overcomes current problems with weight and flexibility by weaving ultra-thin, highly sensitive microfibre sensors into the material of the gloves.
This then allows users of the device to recreate a multitude of in-game controls with simple hand gestures. "We were very much inspired by the need to remotely control tasks with just hand gestures," said Professor Lim Chwee Teck, Director of the NUS Institute for Health Innovation & Technology.
"Current commercially available technology is not very responsive and causes a strain on the user's hands after prolonged use due to their bulky setup. We envision that gesture-based control using our lightweight smart gloves can bring us one step closer to a truly immersive interface between humans and machines."
Each InfinityGlove is equipped with five thread-like sensors, one for each finger. These sensors interact with game software to generate three-dimensional (3D) positions of a moving hand.
These positions are then mapped to specific controller inputs. With just a total of 11 inputs mapped, the team has successfully played games such as Battlefield V.
But the InfinityGlove is not limited to gaming. The device can be used in hand rehabilitation. The glove can be used in gaming for rehabilitation which motivates patients to stick to their hand exercise regimes through an immersive gaming experience.
In addition, healthcare professionals can use the glove to track their patients' hand gesturing progress. And the NUS team has ambitious goals for its device. The team wants to integrate its glove into the realms of virtual reality, complex gaming, and robotic control.