If you thought being an astronaut is pretty cool, then you’re more right than ever. Not only do you get to go to space, but you’ll also spend your training in virtual reality. NASA is currently experimenting with VR-sessions to get their men and women ready for the real work. They do so with the help of Eindhoven startup Manus VR, and their virtual reality glove.
Fingers is VR
With Virtual Reality headset becoming more common and the VR ecosystem in full development, we’ve already spotted Eindhoven startup Manus VR a while back when they were still called Manus Machina. The glove they’ve been developing allows to touch and manipulate virtual objects, just like you would in the real world. Advanced motion tracking makes it possible to use the hand in VR like one would in the real world. Currently most VR-sets are equipped with controllers that track the position of the hand, but won’t recognize the more complex movement of the fingers.
Practicing in the ISS
NASA is currently running an experiment which simulates the inside of the International Space Station. In this mixed reality. The Manus VR glove provides the astronauts with a true representation of their hands and intuitive interaction.
Manus still in development
But creating such a novel product seems no easy task, as the startup is still working on it. Manus was founded in July 2014 and were part of the Startup Bootcamp High-tech XL in 2015. They’re currently collaborating with gameplatform Steam to receive access to the SteamVR Tracking license. This will be used for their VR-bracelet, which will provide the Manus VR gloves with positional tracking for the hands and arms.
When can we?
Meanwhile NASA is already having a ball with the gadget, when is it our turn? “The mission of Manus VR is to make a data-glove available for everyone”, claims Vlemmix. “Recently, consumer products in virtual reality have outdone the bulky, expensive hardware from the past. Not only in cost, but also in performance. Manus VR is creating a market where both NASA and your average gamer have access to the same cutting edge technology.”