Apple VR glove tracks movement of individual fingers

(Image courtesy kalhh via Pixabay.)

A new VR glove could be coming that tracks the motion of each finger and thumb bone.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just published a patent application from Apple for a VR glove made with smart fabric that will be capable of this fine-level motion capture.

The glove should work with VR and AR and allow the user to touch, feel, and hold virtual objects in their hand.

It’s supposed to be able to track the movement of each individual finger and thumb bone using a variety of IMUs, or inertial measurement units. These are devices that measure and report a body’s specific force, angular rate, and orientation.

Motion sensors, such as gyroscopes and accelerometers, will be built into the glove to measure the orientation, position, and velocity of the different finger bones.

Other tech in the VR glove could include magnetometers to measure the direction of the geomagnetic field and electrodes for enabling capacitive touch and contact sensing between fingertips.

(Image courtesy Patently Apple.)

The glove can be a knitted or woven fabric with all the electronic components built-in and could be made out of multiple layers.

A device like the Oculus Quest 2 currently uses hand controllers and inside-out cameras to track the position and orientation of your hands but is nowhere near the level of precise finger tracking that could be possible with Apple’s future VR glove.

The patent application was originally filed by Apple back in 2018 and was just published by the U.S. Patent Office.

Alex Korolov