Courtesy of Dexta Robotics
Virtual reality has made leaps and strides in recent years. As we’ve made graphical improvements in rendering nearly life like interactive images and advancements in motion detection technology, the ability to be fully immersed is nearly upon us. The likes of Project Morpheus from Sonyand the Oculus Rift, virtual reality headsets that create both depth-of-field imaging and real time head tracking, have shown incredible promise! The biggest challenge that we currently face is touch and feedback.
Why does playing Kinect Games on the Xbox one feel so awkward at times? Because we’re flailing about with nothing to hold onto. A new proposed project on Kickstarter, The Dexmo, is looking to jump over this hurdle. The Dexmo is an exoskeleton designed to provide feedback from the virtual(or remote) world and to create an enhanced way of capturing motion. For example, picking up objects in the virtual world will feel much more immersive by stopping your fingers in space when touching virtual objects. The prototype that was created for the Kickstarter demonstrates its functionality on the hand. Check it out below:
While the current prototype merely demonstrates its promise on the hands, the concept has the potential to cover the entire body. Imagine being geared up in a full suit that hangs from the ceiling and provides feedback not only when trying to hold onto digital objects, but also when running into objects, being hit by things, running on the ground, and more. Immersion doesn’t get much better than that!
Additionally, the application of this device goes far beyond gaming and virtual reality. This technology could be used to improve upon technology that doctors and surgeons use to provide medical assistance and surgeries remotely. This would provide a much higher level of fidelity and precision required to perform complicated remote surgery.
To this point, surgeons have been using remote controls that mimics various tools (See pictured) that you hold in your hands. Using this technology combined with sensors, lasers, and haptic feedback (feedback to let the doctor know when contact with the patient is made); doctors have been achieving successful remote surgeries since 2001. But the scope of that is limited to the types of controllers available. The Dexmo has the potential to broaden the scope of remote surgeries.
Additionally, Dexta Robotics has demonstrated on their Kickstarter page that there are a wide variety of uses for the device as a controller. It will enable a new way to control various types of robotics and hardware. Their pledge page demoes possibilities ranging from playing a virtual piano or painting a virtual image to controlling lighting and computer programs. The possibilities are endless. Check out the details on the pledge page here.
As you can see, we’re pretty excited about the prospect of this technology. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below