The dream of motion control has been around for a long time, with various degrees of success. Since the very early days, Nintendo has been chasing the dream, eventually succeeding with the Nintendo Wii, kickstarting much research into motion control that virtual reality (VR) users are still reaping the benefits of. What of these early attempts at motion control, though? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play a VR title with a Nintendo Power Glove? Well, now you can.
The Nintendo Power Glove has been the subject of much mockery, memes, YouTube videos and even had a predominant place in the 1989 ode to Nintendo that was The Wizard movie. The technology of the 80s was just not up to the challenge of accurate motion control, making the Power Glove awkward to use at best, and downright horrendous at worst.
The technology available today has allowed the researchers at Teague Labs to give new life and purpose to the Power Glove. By adding a HTC Vive Tracker and some retrofitted modern technology, The Nintendo Power Glove actually becomes a viable means of interacting with modern VR titles.
By mounting an Arduino Due and a Vive Tracker on the Power Glove, along with some custom shielding, the engineers at Teague Labs were able to make the Power Glove compatible with the HTC Vive.
Unbelievably, the engineers who tested the retrofitted device said it actually performed better than the Vive wands for several applications: “Holding virtual objects, touching mock-up screens, and pointing at things just feels a lot better when using the dexterity of one’s fingers instead of trying to use a fixed wand.” One of the engineers told Digital Trends.
Full details on the process used to create and program the peripheral is available to download from GitHub, for those who want to give it a try themselves.
VRFocus will continue to report on new (or old) VR hardware as it becomes available.