Introducing the Zerkin Glove – Intuitive Interaction in Augmented Reality

Augmented reality apps on mobile devices are all the rage these days. And they will probably remain so for a couple of years.

But –

Augmented Reality Glasses are around the corner

When using the iPhone (or similar mobile device) for an augmented reality experience, the interaction is pretty straight forward – hold your hands up with your iPhone pointing to your target. Want more options? Touch the screen. Had enough – tuck it back in your pocket.

How do you interact with augmented reality (AR) when it’s constantly in your field of view – overlaid on your glasses?

Interacting with Augmented reality

Are we going to operate knobs on the glasses?

Pete touched a stud on his spex, pulled down a glowing menu,and adjusted his visual take on the outside world. (Taklamakan, short story by Bruce Sterling)

-probably not beyond pressing the “on” button…

Are we going to be surrounded by rings?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

-Ringo looks cool, but we’re looking for a new metaphor. The traditional keyboard (albeit arched and projected on the ground) might not the most intuitive way.


-Visionary, but touching thumbs instead of using a mouse? (oh, and can I lose the backpack?)

Eye gaze tracking

– that’s pretty good for point and click. But what about more complex gestures?

(by the way, this could be great for Tennis)

Interactive clothing?

-Absolutely. This will probably be available to the public as an intuitive interaction with AR displays in 5-10 years

So is there anything that could be used for an intuitive interaction with augmented reality Today?

Are there any contemporary options?

Logitech Glove Controller (P5)

The P5 was an inexpensive, good looking glove-like, that tracks finger movement – so why did it flop?

Probably because of accuracy (or lack thereof) and that fact it requires an external reference (IR base similar to the Wii.) Others may contend it never found a really good use. You can still try it for yourself for under $75!


The Accelaglove has the right price (<$500) and the technology is promising – but currently focusing on translating hand movements of sign language.

Peregrine Power Glove

The Peregrine Power Glove was a huge promise at E3 2009. It was also my biggest disappointment: Using your thumb to touch your fingers to feed the computer with various commands…on a good day it could replace the keyboard when playing a real-time strategy game.

There is a bunch of other gloves that may be good at certain tasks – but not suited for intuitive-affordable AR.

Introducing the Zerkin Glove

The Zerkin Glove is a new invention by Noah Zerkin.

It’s a low-cost, motion and position capturing, data glove for 3D interaction with virtual objects in augmented reality (AR) environments.

Watch the latest iteration of the prototype in this video.

It won’t replace computers and mouses as 3D designer tool anytime soon, but for scenarios where there is no access to mouse or PC it could offer a truly intuitive interaction – at an affordable price. One glaring example is the following: architect and client on location discussing interior design plan. This scenario is about conveying impressions and enabling rough changes (what if scenarios) –  which do not require high accuracy. There are other interfaces probably more suited for VR. But when it comes to AR – this is as good as it gets.

For more info see the Zerkin Glove website.

Want to see a live demo? Come to ISMAR 2009.

Noah is looking for investors, developers, and fans.

Show some love for the Zerkin Glove!


For full disclosure, the author of this post is the business adviser for the Zerkin Glove.

9 Responses

  1. There have been many attempts for data gloves over the last decades. They all failed, independently of their technical weaknesses or strengths.
    In the end nobody wants to wear gloves for interaction and this is unlikely to change.

  2. @Daniel –
    Nobody wanted to wear HMDs with backpacks either – but now that they are slimming down and starting to look more chic – people are intrigued once again…;)

  3. @Ori:
    That is exactly what I meant: Gloves did not fail because they were technically problematic (as the backpacks were) but because nobody ever found a convincing use case that makes people want to wear them.

  4. Actualy, there is fairly good gloves.
    A company called Immersion-Corp used to make them, but they then split that arm off.
    They are probably hugely expensive (no price on site).

    However, they even have systems where gloves give haptic feedback, and even ones that offer resistance.

    Anyway, my preferance is still for a 3D stylus like device.
    Let me point at stuff in mid-air, sketch stuff, shoot at stuff etc.
    We might even go back to a more traditional form of writting rather then carrying fold-out keyboards.

  5. I would like to point out that it is called The Peregrine and not The Peregrine Power Glove.

    Also, knowing Brent Baier personally, I would like to say that AR was never an intention with his creation, and that it was designed strictly with gaming in mind.

  6. Considerably, the article is actually the freshest on that worthw hile topic. I harmonise with your conclusions and definitely will thirstily look forward to your coming updates. Saying thanks can not simply be enough, for the extraordinary lucidity in your writing. I definitely will instantly grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates. Gratifying work and much success in your business dealings!

  7. Just the knowledge I was looking for. I shall share this web site with my friends when i go to do work tomorrow.

  8. Has anyone here heard about “Leap Motion”? they have perfected this technology and you don’t even need a glove to use it, its motion sensor and far more accurate than this thing will ever be. along with that its under 100$ so don’t waist your time with a glove when you can have something that is way better for way cheaper.

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