At CES 2022 I tried bHaptics TactGlove, an upcoming $299 product for Quest 2 (and, apparently, PC VR too).
bHaptics is the same company behind the TactSuit, supported in games like Onward. Unlike the force feedback gloves I tried, TactGlove doesn’t actually restrict the movements of your finger. Instead it simply has per-finger precision vibration motors (Linear Resonant Actuators).
The idea is to add the missing feeling of touch to controller-free hand tracking games. bHaptics SDK is already supported by top hand tracking experiences including Unplugged and Hand Physics Lab.
To be honest, I was expecting TactGlove to feel like a gimmick. Since I’d also tried real force feedback gloves at CES, I wasn’t expecting simple vibration to add much to the feeling of immersion. But I was wrong. Comparing TactGlove to those $5000 products isn’t even fair – the real comparison is to using Quest hand tracking games normally, where you have no haptics at all. This lack of haptics is one of the most common complaints about controller-free hand tracking, and it’s exactly the problem TactGlove solves.
But is this added sense of touch worth $300? That’s difficult to say. For now, I’d say no, simply because the library of controller-free hand tracking games is still very limited.
bHaptics did however tell me the price is mainly a function of current supply chain issues. If by next year the Oculus hand tracking library is significantly more fleshed out and bHaptics can get the price down to $200, the value proposition may just shift to the point I’d recommend it.
TactGlove should be available to developers in Q2 and ship to consumers later this year. It’ll be available in three sizes.