Apple has registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office some haptic gloves that would work in combination with virtual reality devicesbeing compatible with both Mac computers and standalone devices, such as the virtual reality viewer that Apple has long been rumored to be working on developing.
Haptic gloves provide the user with the sensation of touch and pressure through electrical signals
These gloves would have an internal system of cavities and electrodes capable of generating in its user sensations of touch and pressure in synchrony with the contents generated by the virtual reality environment in which the user is immersed. The electrical signal would activate a component that would generate a small displacement in the internal component proportional to the intensity of the stimulus pressure.
Through this haptic response (tactile perceptions), the sensation of a user touching or holding different objects could be recreated. According to Apple’s patent documentation, this would include simulating texture differences, tactile sensations and perceptions associated with different materials, some as concrete and complex as the sensation of letting sand slip through your fingers.
From the diagrams accompanying the patent, it appears that these Apple haptic gloves could work in conjunction with a Mac computer that would be responsible for providing the information about the sensations, without being necessary to use a virtual reality viewer, so it would not necessarily link its use to virtual reality with one of these devices.
In fact it adds the possibility that Apple’s patented haptic gloves could operate linked to other external devices such as cameras, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional. Finally in the document there is a single mention of “headset“This means that a complete virtual immersion environment could be configured within the Apple ecosystem with multiple applications for both professional and leisure use. It could even be part of that recent prediction that gives the iPhone ten years of life until it is replaced by virtual reality devices.