Those mysterious virtual reality gloves Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off back in February still aren’t available to the public, but now we have video of exactly how they work.
Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash published a blog post on Monday with a few notes from his recent speech at the Global Grand Challenges Summit in D.C., and along with those notes he included video of Zuckerberg’s secret Oculus gloves in action.
The post is full of powerful technical insights on current and future VR, but the real stand out is a video showing the white VR gloves in action.
When Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself trying them out months ago, he said, “Wearing these gloves, you can draw, type on a virtual keyboard, and even shoot webs like Spider Man. That’s what I’m doing here.” Now, we finally have an idea of what he was talking about.
Looking at the precision accuracy of the gloves on the user’s hands in the video in concert with the person’s virtual hands indicates Zuckerberg wasn’t exaggerating. Among some hardcore VR users, Oculus’ current Touch controllers are viewed as the best on the market.
But if Oculus manages to introduce a mainstream version of these retroreflector-covered VR gloves in the near future, it would it represent the absolute cutting-edge in hand presence on any commercial VR system.
Abrash’s blog post also showed off a video of how future VR headsets will track facial expressions, capturing everything from a mild frown to a huge smile. Alas, this is all still skunkworks lab stuff, and not scheduled to hit stores in the near future, as far as we know.
But if VR manages to survive the oncoming wave of AR, pairing these gloves with an inside-out tracking, tetherless headset like the ones shown off by Google earlier this year would suddenly make commercial VR a lot easier, more immersive, and even harder to separate from reality.