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It’s like the Power Glove, but for VR • TechCrunch

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Nintendo’s Power Glove was, to quote one of the best movies of the 80s, “so bad”. The NES peripheral transfixed a generation of young people, only to later realize that “bad” in this case should perhaps have been taken a bit more literally. Nintendo eventually sold a million things, but the technology just wasn’t there, and dreamy robot-glove control gameplay seemed to have died with it.

With the new (relative) importance of virtual reality, it might be time to give the idea another shot. Interacting this way certainly makes a lot more sense in VR than 8-bit side-scrolling. That’s the promise of ContactGlove, a new product from Japanese firm Diver-X, which made its debut this week at CES.

Picture credits: Brian Heater

In addition to winning an innovation award at the show, ContactGlove is also the subject of an ongoing Kickstarter campaign, which has already surpassed its goal of $200,000, with 16 days remaining. The product combines manual tracking with haptic feedback to give the user a more hands-on approach to interacting with the virtual environment around them.

After calibrating the system, ContactGlove tracks finger movements for a more natural interaction, as well as button/stick movements made with the hand for a more traditional gaming experience. Battery life is around two hours with haptics on and eight hours when off. You can also hot swap the battery to keep it operational.

The product claims to be a cheaper/more accessible approach to VR gloves than what currently exists. Of course, when it comes to VR hardware, “cheaper” is certainly relative. The firm puts the final retail price of the product at just under $500 for the pair.

It is compatible with HTC Vive headsets, as well as Steam VR hardware. The company also provides an SDK for Unity and UnrealEngine developers to better use the system. Diver-X plans to start shipping in July, when we’ll find out what kind of bad ContactGlove really is.

Learn more about CES 2023 on TechCrunch

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