Upcoming 3D interactivity glove to have OS X support
By Dennis Sellers
MacworldJAN 2, 2001 4:00 pm PST
Essential Reality, developer and manufacturer of computer peripherals, has announced that P5, a glove-like product for full motion 3D graphics control, will be fully compatible with Mac OS X.
Due in May, it’s targeted to 3D experiences in interactive gaming, business, education, and personal computer assistance for the disabled. It’s designed for multiple uses including gaming, scientific visualization, animation, Computer Aided Design (CAD), virtual reality, industrial design, and Web browsing.
The P5 will purportedly, among other things, let you pick up objects, open and close them, or turn the pages of a Web site like a book. It utilizes a patented technology originally developed for use in the Nintendo Power Glove.
The P5 consists of a hand-worn glove with embedded electronics. Starting position and movement of the device are tracked with electronics and firmware supporting x-, y- and z-axis positioning. P5 is engineered with five-finger bend sensitivity that provides full finger recognition and includes software for navigation without a mouse or a joystick, according to Essential Reality. And it’s a USB product.
“Applications of all kinds will be able to use the power of our new P5,” David Devor, chief operating officer of Essential Reality, said in a press announcement. “P5 will be particularly well-suited for gamers, since the majority of today’s games have a 3D user interface. Action games, RPGs, first-person shooters, adventure games and sports games will all be enhanced by the ability to move easily and intuitively in 3D space.”
P5 uses combined bend sensor and proprietary tracking technologies to enable full interaction with a 3D environment, according to Devor. This means no lag time and “six degrees of freedom” tracking make the experience “totally immersive and real,” he added.
“Because P5 can emulate all the functionality of a mouse and joystick, it is compatible with all games and programs straight out of the box,” Devor said. “P5 offers game developers the opportunity to take their games in entirely new directions and changes the way players think about past games. Additionally, 3D object technology on the Internet is expected to boost e-commerce by giving consumers a better view of the products before they buy them. Consumers need an input device like P5 to easily manipulate the objects in three-dimensional space. Designers who create and animate 3D objects are also in need of an input device that enables direct 3D interaction. P5 is the perfect solution.”
The P5 is expected to cost US $129. You can check out some prototypes of the PG at the company’s
“Gamers and designers worldwide will be blown away by the power and ease of use offered by Mac OS X, which features the exquisite new Aqua interface and OpenGL for spectacular 3D graphics and gaming,” said Clent Richardson, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “Essential Reality’s new P5 glove will add a significant new dimension to the exciting host of 3D applications that developers are creating for gaming, industrial design and image manipulation on Mac OS X.”
Essential Reality has mapped out a plan to take P5 through several stages. A wireless product is on tap. Future plans call for the ability to monitor sweat and pulse and, eventually, a product with tactile feedback.