Trying out HaptX haptic feedback VR

I recently had the opportunity to play with the possible future of lab-integrated virtual reality and haptic technology firsthand at Lab Innovations, where I experienced an impressive demonstration of the HaptX Haptic Wearable VR System.

The HaptX Gloves G1® system is advertised as providing users with a level of touch that mirrors the natural human experience. By replicating the sensation of real-world objects through a complex haptic feedback, users can now touch, feel, and manipulate virtual environments with precision aimed at realism.

At Lab Horizons Antycip had a fully functional demo system. So popping a comfortable headset that seamlessly fit over my glasses (something that is often not the case with a lot of VR), I slipped my hands into the HaptX Gloves and gave it a go.

Feeling flowers

The very first sense I had was a gentle, electrifying tickle that felt as if my hands were being touched by an electric feather. I found myself in a virtual paper craft farm, surrounded by spiky card sunflowers and soft wheat, each texture discernible to my gloved fingertips. With a wave of my hand, I could feel the resistance of the wheat against my palm, making the experience remarkably tangible.

As I explored this virtual world, I was amazed to find that even the raindrops felt almost wet as they landed on my hands. The attention to detail was unparalleled; every drop was a testament to the system’s precision and sophistication. To my delight, a small cartoon fox leapt onto my hand, playfully running in circles (which I could feel with amazing fidelity) before settling down in my palm to watch me.

As I explored this virtual world, I was amazed to find that even the raindrops felt almost wet as they landed on my hands. The attention to detail was unparalleled; every drop was a testament to the system’s precision and sophistication. To my delight, a small cartoon fox leapt onto my hand, playfully running in circles (which I could feel with amazing fidelity) before settling down in my palm to watch me.

It was clear to me that haptic wearable VR really had come a very long way and systems such as this really were now at a stage where you can see their direct use in labs. Imagine a virtual lab where scientists and researchers can collaborate seamlessly through telepresence, conducting experiments and simulations with an unparalleled level of realism.

Future of telepresent experiments

The precise and realistic touch feedback offered by these gloves hints at the possibilities in the remote operation of lab equipment and robots. Industries dealing with hazardous materials handling or heavy-equipment operations could benefit immensely from this technology. Operators can remotely control machinery with unprecedented accuracy, enhancing safety and efficiency. Combined with virtual lab systems and lab robotics telepresent research seems a very close reality.

Virtually reaching to better training

The system’s precision and lifelike feedback make it possibly invaluable tool for training sessions and virtual demonstrations, allowing users to manipulate objects and experience tactile sensations in a way that was previously unimaginable. Medical professionals could refine their skills with lifelike surgical simulations, engineers could perfect product designs in a virtual space, and operators could remotely control machinery with unparalleled accuracy, enhancing safety and efficiency.

My firsthand experience with the HaptX Haptic Wearable VR System left me in pretty awe of its capabilities. This is the first follow up article I’ve written since Lab Horizons which gives you some idea how excited about it I was.

The virtual paper farm was just the beginning; the HaptX system is a sign of a new frontier where the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds blur, promising a future where our senses can be extended into all kinds of environments, not just sunflowers and foxes.

Matthew

Matthew has been writing and cartooning since 2005 and working in science communication his whole career. Matthew has a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Fibre Optic Molecular Sensors and has spent around 16 years working in research, 5 of which were in industry and 12 in the ever-wonderful academia.

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