Being able to actually feel objects in virtual reality is a game-changing fact. Dexmo is a hand exoskeleton that is able to do just that, and more.
Dexta Robotics, the Shenzen, China-based company that developed the Dexmo haptic exoskeleton, is confident that Virtual Reality still has a long way to go. If Dexmo will ever get in a commercially viable form, Dexta thinks it could find its way into music production, drawing, rehabilitation, animation, and obviously immersive gaming in the VR world.
In a Reddit AMA, a Dexta Robotics spokesperson pointed out that the Dexmo F2 uses force feedback (and not just vibration) to help you feel the shape and size of digital objects. I guess the next step is to look for a way to feel texture. After that I wonder who’ll ever need the real world again…
The creators of this haptic exoskeleton are currently looking to crowdfund their project on Kickstarter, where they want to raise $200,000. At the time of writing, backers had pledged a bit over 25 percent of the needed money, but the campaign still had 27 more days to go. This actually has a good chance of becoming a real product. The concept is great and I hope that Dexta Robotics gets to patent it before a tech giant picks this up and turns it into an uber-expensive gadgets for their video game consoles.
Unlike other VR devices or exoskeletons, Dexmo is extremely affordable, also because it comes in the form of a DIY kit that you need to put together using just some basic tools. To secure a Dexmo virtual reality exoskeleton for yourself, in the event that the campaign is successful, you need to pledge $65 as an early bird or $75 as an early backer. The Dexmo Development Kits are expected to ship in May 2015. Mind you, these prices are for the Dexmo Classic Development Kits, which only allow you to control robots from a distance. If you’re not so much into bomb disposal or other similar potentially dangerous sensitive tasks, you’ll have to get $179 out of your pocket for the Dexmo F2, the version of the exoskeleton that comes with all that haptic feedback goodness. Limited edition versions made entirely out of metal are also available, but that are a tad bit more expensive, costing you $2,000.
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