VR gloves that let you feel
Virtual reality is growing and as part of the technologies evolution, a variety of VR accessories have been developed. VR gloves are also part of the VR accessory ecosystem that aims to bring even more realism and senses (touch) to make VR more immersive. VR gloves are wearables (some are completely wireless) that users can wear to enable finger and/or hand tracking and touch sensors within virtual reality.
A number of products are now available or in production and in R&D stage (research and development). VR gloves can be split into three main categories:
- Haptic gloves
- Gamer gloves
- VR HMD and platform-specific VR gloves
The best VR gloves: our selection
As part of the burgeoning expansion surrounding VR tech, there are, of course, a number of crowdfunded success stories and failures, so be careful with your choices. Our selection of VR gloves is non-extensive, as so many other VR gloves are on the market or in production. As always we recommend doing your own, additional research but we thought these virtual reality gloves were some of the most promising available as VR accessories.
HaptX Gloves: VR gloves for professionals – price TBC
Formerly known as AxonVR, HaptX offers enterprise-level haptic VR gloves which feature hand and finger touch sensors and force feedback via its exoskeleton design. These tethered gloves are still in development and as such are still too bulky and currently rely on a central control box and HTC VIVE Trackers to offer positional tracking. The HaptX Gloves Development Kit is currently available.
- SDK: SteamVR, Unity3D, Unreal Engine
- Price: TBC
- Seller: –
CaptoGlove: KickStarter success story – price $490 USD
CaptoGlove are a crowdfunding success story. Having raised funds through KickStarter, these VR/AR gloves offer full hand tracking and are compatible with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PSVR, Windows Mixed Reality HMDs, and many more VR headsets. These gloves also work with other BlueTooth devices and controllers so are not VR exclusive. The manufacturer claims they are “the first wireless wearable controller for PC, mobile and smart devices”.
- SDK: Unity3D, Unreal Engine, Windows Mixed Reality, SteamVR
- Price: $490 (pair)
- Seller: Amazon
Plexus: Affordable VR gloves – price $249 USD
These affordable VR gloves are compatible with a range of SDK (Software Development Kits) and VR HMDs (HTC VIVE, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality headsets). In addition, Plexus offers VR haptics and sensors (touch) for the user with individual finger tracking, precise to the point of tracking the joints on the user’s fingers. Tracking is done by attaching the appropriate VR HMD’s controllers to the gloves, hence the Plexus being a more affordable option.
- SDK: Unity3D, Unreal Engine, Windows Mixed Reality
- Price: $249
- Seller: –
Noitum Hi5 VR Glove: Primed for HTC VIVE – price $999 USD (Business Editon)
The Noitum Hi5 VR gloves (also known as Perception Neuron) are custom designed for the HTC VIVE. The gloves offer full finger tracking as well as haptic feedback. Currently, only the Hi5 VR Glove Business Edition is available which is aimed at companies creating interactive VR experiences. These VR gloves require a set of motion trackers for positional tracking compatible with the HTC VIVE.
- SDK: Unity3D, Unreal Engine, VIVE
- Price: $999 (Business Edition)
- Seller: Amazon
Sensoryx VRFree Gloves: Imminent player – price $320 USD
This crowdsourced VR accessory, the Sensoryx VRFree Gloves successfully received backing via Indiegogo in 2018 and the manufacturer claims the product is imminently shipping. VRFree Gloves are compatible with most major VR head-mounted displays such as Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE, Oculus Go, Samsung Odyssey, Google Daydream View, Samsung Gear VR, Windows Mixed Reality HMDs and more. The gloves offer finger and hand tracking at an affordable price point, but no haptic feedback is available.
- SDK: SteamVR, OpenVR
- Price: $320
- Seller: –
Manus Virtual Reality Edition: HTC VR gloves – price $250 USD
Manus VR are wireless virtual reality gloves that offer the user full finger and hand tracking as well as haptic feedback. Manus VR gloves were designed specifically for HTC VIVE trackers to attached to the gloves, which are very light (68.5 grams). For positional tracking, the VR glove needs to be paired with the HMD tracking such as the HTC VIVE Tracking. The Manus VR Glove also works with tracking systems such as OptiTrack, Vicon, Xsens, and ART.
- SDK: Unity3D, Unreal Engine,
- Price: $250 (ask for a quote)
- Seller: –
Senso VR Glove: Wireless VR & AR gloves – price $599 USD
The Senso VR Glove offers finger and hand tracking as well as providing haptic feedback for both virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. These VR wearables are wireless and can be used with the Senso Suit, also produced by the man ufacturer.
- SDK: Unity3D, Unreal Engine, SteamVR
- Price: $599
- Seller: –
VR gloves price: a price fit for all?
The price range of VR gloves is quite vast with some consumer-level affordable options available for a few hundred US Dollars. However, there are also more expensive VR gloves costing several thousand USD aimed at professionals and enterprise-level buyers.
Things to consider when buying a VR glove
In addition to the budget, there are some key considerations when buying a VR glove as VR accessories. Certain products will highlight the hygiene of the VR gloves, whether they are breathable or washable. Furthermore, the compatibility of the VR HMD to the VR gloves is paramount for consumers and whether additional trackers are required. Whereas for developers they should consider the VR platform the VR glove supports. Obviously, the availability is another factor; have the VR gloves been released, crowdfunded or at prototype stage?
Oculus gloves and PSVR gloves: what’s the status?
Currently, we couldn’t find VR gloves specific to the Oculus Go, but some of the VR gloves we have identified are compatible with the Oculus Rift (Sensoryx VRFree Gloves and Plexus). However, some VR gloves not featured in this article such as the exiii EXOS and VRgluv also work with the Rift. The Captoglove is compatible with the PSVR HMD and Oculus Rift.
See and compare our extensive list of VR HMDs on the Aniwaa VR-AR comparison engine.