Remote Valentine: Glove Tech Puts 'Touch' into Long-Distance Relationships

Researchers from Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) have designed a pair of interconnected gloves called 'Flex-N-Feel.' When a user's fingers flex in one glove, the actions are transmitted to a remote partner wearing the other. The glove's tactile sensors allow the wearer to 'feel' the movements. To capture the flex actions, the sensors are attached to a microcontroller. The sensors provide a value for each bend, and are transmitted to the 'feel' glove using a WiFi module. The sensors are also placed strategically on the palm side of the fingers in order to better feel the touch. A soft-switch on both gloves also allows either partner to initiate the touch. "Users can make intimate gestures such as touching the face, holding hands, and giving a hug," says associate professor Carman Neustaedter.