Literal Stretch-Sensing Glove Reconstructs Your Hand Poses

Our hands are rich forms of gestural expression, but capturing these expressions without hindering the hand itself is no easy task–even in today’s world of virtual reality hardware. Fret not, though, as researchers at the Interactive Geometry Lab have recently developed a glove that’s both comfortable and straightforward to fabricate while capturing not simply gestures but entire hand poses.

Like many hand-recognition gloves, this “stretch-sensing soft glove” mounts the sensors directly into the glove such that movements can be captured while hands are out of plain sight. However, unlike other gloves, sensors are custom-made from two stretchable conductive layers sandwiched between a plain layer of silicone. The result is a grid of 44 capacitive stretch sensors. The team feeds this datastream into a neural network for gesture processing, and the result is a system capable of reconstructing hand poses at 60Hz refresh rates.

In their paper [PDF], the research team details a process of making the glove with a conventional CO2 laser cutter. They first cast a conductive silicone layer onto a conventional sheet of silicone. Then, with two samples, they selectively etch away the conductive layer with the unique capacitive grid images. Finally, they sandwich these layers together with an additional insulating and glue it into a hand-shaped textile pattern. The resulting process is a classy use of the laser cutter for the design of flexible capacitive circuits without any further specialized hardware processes.

While we’re no stranger to retrofitting gloves with sensors or etching unconventional materials, the fidelity of this research project is in a class of its own. We can’t wait to see folks extend this technique into other wearable stretch sensors. For a deeper dive into the glove’s capabilities, have a look at the video after the break.

9 thoughts on “Literal Stretch-Sensing Glove Reconstructs Your Hand Poses

  1. Very cool. Promising tech. Wonder how well works with different size hands and dealing with slippage/reactance from sweat. Replaceable Breathable textile /neoprene would be ideal.
    Does seem more reactive but nowhere near perfection. Considerable better than the very few I’ve tried. Practical use software still Alpha not helping. Interaction levels on all but very expensive setups still lacking and thats just display tech end.
    Unlike super hot babe in latex nurse costume reality seems to suggest extensive wear impractical. Two hours with nitrile gloves on hands is bad enough sweaty pruny eww but of exertion of force in less than ideal gunk/dirt/grime. Reality sucks. Robotic manipulators should be doing the work. Hurry up and get it better.
    Silicon allergic reactions another issue

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.