Manus VR is a Dutch startup, founded in 2014. The company has been designing a glove peripheral for virtual reality and has now revealed the design of its first developer kit, as well as when it will be available.
The Manus VR peripheral is a pair of gloves that features integrated circuitry designed to allow a number of different inputs. Each glove includes a nine degree of freedom (9DOF) IMU, and each finger has two bending sensors. The Manus VR gloves also offer haptic feedback provided by a fully programmable vibration motor. The company said the gloves are powered by rechargeable batteries that last up to eight hours.
Manus VR revealed that the gloves have two methods of communication: They can be connected with a USB dongle to offer latency lower than 5ms, or there is also a Bluetooth option that requires 12ms for communication. The company also noted that the gloves include wrist-mounted holders for the HTC Vive wand controllers, so the gloves can take advantage of Lighthouse tracking.
"The combination of the Manus glove, with Lighthouse positional tracking, promises an extremely immersive virtual reality experience, in which the player can interact with the virtual world around them in the same way they would interact with the real world. They have the potential to lift VR to a new level of immersion, promising to unleash the potential of a user’s hands into the virtual world," read the press release in part.
Manus VR said the gloves are made of “high tech textiles,” and the electronics inside are washable, so you can easily keep them clean.
Manus VR will be showing off its VR glove peripheral at GDC next week. The company partnered with Pillow’s Willow VR Studios, and the pair will be showcasing Pillow’s Willow, a puzzle game that Manus VR said requires hand interactions to solve. The company said this demo will demonstrate the Manus VR glove’s compatibility with the HTC Vive VR system.
Manus VR said that the SDK will be free and open source, and it has plug-ins for Unity, Unreal, Android, C#, 3DsMax and Maya "with other engines and development tools on the way." The Manus VR hardware developer kits will be available to pre-order in Q2 of this year for $250. The company expects to ship the dev kits in Q3.