A glove and mechanical assembly let you feel the unreal

April 4, 2002 | Source: Technology Review

Haptic interfaces, which add the sense of touch to virtual-reality systems, are becoming commerically available but are still expensive.CyberGrasp from San Jose-based Immersion consists of a lightweight mechanical exoskeleton that fits over a motion capture glove. It lets users manipulate virtual objects in a computer-generated world and creates the illusion of touching and grasping objects.

Woburn, MA-based SensAble Technologies makes touch-based modeling systems for industrial designers. Its FreeForm system consists of a stylus attached to a jointed arm. Actuators exert pressure on the stylus as the user sculpts objects from virtual clay.