Browse Definitions:

data glove

A data glove is an interactive device, resembling a glove worn on the hand, which facilitates tactile sensing and fine-motion control in robotics and virtual reality. Data gloves are one of several types of electromechanical devices used in haptics applications.

Tactile sensing involves simulation of the sense of human touch and includes the ability to perceive pressure, linear force, torque, temperature, and surface texture. Fine-motion control involves the use of sensors to detect the movements of the user's hand and fingers, and the translation of these motions into signals that can be used by a virtual hand (for example, in gaming) or a robotic hand (for example, in remote-control surgery).

Within a virtual reality room or other VR environment, a data glove can allow you to interact normally with objects -- turning doorknobs, for example -- and receive haptic feedback to replicate grasping a doorknob and feeling the object in your hand rather than just making a gesture in air. Haptic feedback is essential to immersiveness, which enables user engagement in virtual environments, particularly for applications like VR gaming.


This was last updated in August 2016

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