InfinityGlove – NUS Researchers Develop Smart Gaming Glove

Ever wanted to destroy your enemies at a snap of your fingers? Well, a research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have designed the InfinityGlove – a glove embedded with thread-line micro-sensors allowing users to mimic a variety of in-game controls.

The InfinityGlove contains ultra-sensitive microfibre sensors that can translate hand gestures into in-game commands, allowing users to play first-person shooters such as Battlefield V without the need for a traditional controller or a keyboard

The research team led by Professor Lim Chwee Teck, have designed the glove to allows users to mimic a variety of in-game controls using simple hand gestures. While you’re not really snapping your fingers, you can simply flex your index finger to fire your weapon, and rotate your wrist clockwise to move forward.

Each InfinityGlove contains a total of five thread-like sensors, one for each finger. This network of sensors can interface with the game software to produce accurate three-dimensional (3D) positions of a moving hand.

The InfinityGlove was developed by a team of NUS researchers led by Professor Lim Chwee Teck (left). With him are two members of the research team,Dr Yeo Joo Chuan (centre) and Dr Yu Long Teng (right).

Various gestures made by the user’s hands are then mapped to specific inputs that are found on a regular controller. To date, the team has mapped a total of 11 inputs and commands which will allow users to play popular games.

Current commercially available technology is not very responsive and causes a strain on the user’s hands after prolonged use due to their bulky setup. We envision that gesture-based control using our lightweight smart gloves can bring us one step closer to a truly immersive interface between humans and machines.

– Professor Lim Chwee Teck, Director of the NUS Institute for Health Innovation & Technology

The application of this microfibre sensor technology is the breakthrough innovation that enables the InfinityGlove to accurately map finger gestures for human-machine interaction.

First developed back in 2017, and then improved upon, the sensors are made up of a thin and stretchable rubber-like microfibre, about the same thickness as a strand of human hair, that is filled with a conductive liquid metal. A small electric current runs through the conductive liquid metal, creating an electrical reading signal that changes when the fibres are bent and as the liquid metal is displaced.

When linked up to the team’s proprietary software, the sensors can rapidly translate the gestures via electrical signals into command inputs at a speed that is almost the same as pressing a button on the keyboard. The InfinityGlove can be wirelessly connected to a computer.

Other applications for the InfinityGlove include hand rehabilitation for patients as gamification motivates patients to continue their hand exercise regimes through immersive play, and medical professionals can track the progress of their patient’s joint movements at the same time.

The NUS team’s next steps include extending the glove’s capabilities into the world of virtual reality, complex games and robotic control. This technology is being commercialised by a NUS start-up, Microtube Technologies, co-founded by Prof Lim and his team members, Dr Yeo Joo Chuan and Dr Yu Longteng.

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