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HaptX Promises to Make Your Virtual Hands Feel Like Real Ones

March 5, 2018 | Source: Engadget; engadget.com, 20 January 2017, Nicole Lee

The holy grail of VR is immersion: to truly feel like you're in a virtual world. While most modern VR headsets do a pretty good job of this, the experience isn't perfect. One problem standing in the way of true immersion are the controllers. They're OK for basic tasks like picking up objects, but they still feel a little unnatural. Even VR gloves like the Manusoffer only vibration feedback; it lets you know you've touched something, but not what you're touching. A new startup, however, aims to change that. It's introducing a pair of gloves that promises to make your virtual hands feel just like real ones.

The gloves are made by HaptX, which used to be known as AxonVR. It changed its name partially because there are a lot of other companies that are using the name Axon -- it's the name of a phone, a trucking company and a maker of non-lethal weapons. HaptX also happens to be the name of the technology that makes the realistic touch possible.

When the company says "realistic touch," it means the gloves let you feel the shape, texture and even temperature of whatever you're holding -- you can even feel if an object is hard or soft. That's right; the gloves will actually prevent your hand from going through virtual objects.

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