5th Glove

Wired glove

A wired glove is a glove-like input device for virtual reality environments. Various sensor technologies are used to capture physical data such as bending of fingers. Often a motion tracker, such as a magnetic tracking device or inertial tracking device, is attached to capture the global position / rotation data of the glove. These movements are then interpreted by the software that accompanies the glove, so any one movement can mean any number of things. Gestures can then be categorized into useful information, such as to recognize Sign Language or other symbolic functions.

Expensive high-end wired gloves can also provide haptic feedback, which is a simulation of the sense of touch. This allows a wired glove to also be used as an output device. Traditionally, wired gloves have only been available at a huge cost, with the finger bend sensors and the tracking device having to be bought separately.

Concerned about the high cost of the most complete commercial solutions, Pamplona et al. propose a new input device: an image-based data glove (IBDG). By attaching a camera to the hand of the user and a visual marker to each finger tip, they use computer vision techniques to estimate the relative position of the finger tips. Once they have information about the tips, they apply inverse kinematics techniques~cite{GirardMaciejewski1985} in order to estimate the position of each finger joint and recreate the movements of the fingers of the user in a virtual world. Adding a motion tracker device, one can also map pitch, yaw, roll and XYZ-translations of the hand of the user, (almost) recreating all the gesture and posture performed by the hand of the user in a low cost device.

One of the first wired gloves available to home users was the Nintendo Power Glove. This was designed as a gaming glove for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It had a crude tracker and finger bend sensors, plus buttons on the back. In 2001, Essential Reality made a similar attempt at a cheap gaming glove, this time for the PC: the P5 Glove. However, this peripheral never really became popular among gamers. Ironically, even specialized stores are now selling the older and less performant Power Glove for a higher price than the more sophisticated P5 Glove.

Wired gloves are often called "datagloves" or "cybergloves", but these two terms are trademarks, belonging to Sun Microsystems (which acquired the patent portfolio of VPL Research Inc. in February 1998) and Immersion Corporation (which acquired Virtual Technologies, Inc. and its patent portfolio in September 2000) respectively.

An alternative to wired gloves is to use a camera and computer vision to track the 3D pose and trajectory of the hand, at the cost of tactile feedback.

5th Glove

5th Glove is a data glove and flexor strip kit (5th Glove DFK) sold by Fifth Dimension Technologies. The DFK provides a data glove, a flexon strip (with an elbow or knee-joint sensor), an interface card, cables, and KineMusica software. The package uses flexible optical-bending sensing to track hand and arm movement. The glove can be used with 5DT's ultrasonic tracking system, the 5DT Head and 5DT Hand tracker, which can track movement from up to two metres away from the unit's transmitter.

P5 glove

The P5 Glove was a wired glove USB peripheral device, released in 2002, using Infrared tracking technology. In normal applications, it worked as a 2 dimensional mouse and a few computer games were specially adapted to provide "3D" support for it. The P5 glove is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP and Mac OS version 9 or below. Unofficial drivers for Linux exist as well.

While it received some positive reviews from gadget and gaming magazines, its lack of compatible software and other issues caused it to remain a novelty. It has since been discontinued.

Compatible games

Popular culture

The film adaptation of Minority Report makes use of a wireless gloves to control futuristic computer-like peripherals.


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