Virtual Reality

Startup behind ambitious HalfDive headset launches new Kickstarter for Haptic VR gloves – Road to VR

Diver-X, the Japan-based startup known for launching an ambitious VR headset earlier this year, is back, this time with a pair of VR gloves that incorporate a membrane that can flex and compress to replicate the feel of the to touch.

The original HalfDive helmet campaign on Kickstarter managed to raise enough money to be considered fully funded in January 2022, although the team decided to cancel the campaign and return funds to donors. In the end, the Sword Art Online-The inspired headset, which allowed you to play while lying down, was considered too specialized a product to ship on such a small scale.

Now the startup is back with another Kickstarter, but with ostensibly broader appeal. Its ContactGlove not only tracks every finger and includes SteamVR tracking supports for position tracking, but also enables button input emulation so you never have to pick up a controller while gaming. , its “pro” feature on high-end models provides haptic feedback through flexible membranes that contract and expand to mimic the touch of the user’s fingertips.

Tokyo-based Diver-X says its VR glove controller is natively compatible with Steam VR, providing mounting adapters for Tundra Trackers and Vive Trackers.

Button input is all about emulation, as you have to go through configuration software to assign individual buttons to hand gestures, like bending your right index finger to pull a trigger, so it’s up to the user to decide if this functionality can be useful and in which context.

Here’s a sneak peek of the ContactGlove Kickstarter promo. Take note: the magnetic attachment controller with joystick and buttons seen in the video is not a feature listed on the Kickstarted campaign:

The Kickstarter is already live, and it seems to have caught fire among backers looking to nab a pair of the company’s VR gloves. As of this writing, the project has already surpassed its original funding goal of 26 million yen (~$200,000) with funds surpassing 29 million yen (~$220,000).

The company offers ContactGloves starting at ¥65,000 (~$490) for models without a flexible touch membrane and ¥94,000 (~$710) for non-haptic models with Tundra Trackers included. Unfortunately, all haptic versions of ContactGloves are already gone, with pricing starting at ¥115,000 (~$870). Welfare keep an eye out for stretch goal updates to see if the startup adds the ability to purchase haptics as an add-on.

Here’s a quick rundown of the specs, courtesy of Diver-X:

  • Drums: 6 hours without haptic feedback, 2 hours with haptic feedback (will be improved by a software update)
  • Loading time: 2.5 hours (USB Type-C)
  • Wireless connection: includes a dedicated dongle
  • Size: S/M/L
  • Manual tracking: flexion sensor and IMU (standard version does not support finger opening)
  • Vibration: Back of the hand (equipped on all models)
  • Tactile feedback: thumb, index, middle finger (on models equipped with touchscreen only)

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