How do you make a Virtual Reality Glove? - Smarter Every Day 191

  • Published: 19 March 2018
  • Click here to subscribe:
    Get a personalized DNA genotype test a&d read about new data FDA now allows 23andMe to release:
    ⇊ Click below for more links! ⇊

    There are tons of things I had never considered about how difficult it is to fool your brain into thinking it's touching something it's not. I think the most important technical issue to overcome is timing. Much like how your brain can understand hearing someone's voice AFTER seeing their lips move, but not the opposite... the lag time of the sense of touch is an important thing for your brain. Another thing I hand't considered is the "rise time" that has to do with internal stresses in your fingers. If you conceptualize your fingers as water balloons around bones, you can understand how the internal pressure of your fingers rise the harder you press something. This type of information coupled with the "Sensory Homunculus" make for some incredibly fulfilling thought experiments.

    The temperature question is something I'm particularly interested in. Using a colder fluid to model a room temperature fluid because of the heat transfer equation is a fascinating area of scientific problem solving. If you think it through, everything about this boils down to differential equations. How much heat is leaking out of the hand, and at what rate, through what contact area?


    Sensory / Cortical Homunculus

    Two Point Threshold

    I asked HaptX for a blurb to explain their company. This is what they came up with:

    HaptX is a multidisciplinary team of engineers based in San Luis Obispo, CA and Seattle, WA that builds advanced haptic technology. Their first product, HaptX Gloves, brings touch feedback to VR with unprecedented realism, enabling a new category of industrial training simulations. Founded by Jake Rubin and Dr. Bob Crockett in 2012, HaptX won’t stop until you can’t tell what’s real from what’s virtual. Learn more at

    If you're interested in working for them, here's a link:
    Tweet Ideas to me at:

    I'm "ilikerockets" on Snapchat.
    Snap Code:

    Smarter Every Day on Facebook

    Smarter Every Day on Patreon

    Smarter Every Day On Instagram

    Smarter Every Day SubReddit

    23andMe asked me to include this in the video description:
    23andMe sponsors only the portions of this video that pertain to 23andMe. The remaining contents of the video are not sponsored or endorsed by 23andMe, and are solely the opinions and expressions of Smarter Everyday

    The thought is it my efforts making videos will help educate the world as a whole, and one day generate enough revenue to pay for my kids college education. Until then if you appreciate what you've learned in this video and the effort that went in to it, please SHARE THE VIDEO!

    If you REALLY liked it, feel free to pitch a few dollars Smarter Every Day by becoming a Patron.

    Warm Regards,


  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 2 375

  • Matjaž Čeh
    Matjaž Čeh  1 days back

    Whos FDA and why would i care what they allow. They killed off Wilhelm Reich and Violet Rays and weed and shrooms. So infact, this means this is not good.

    • dawid mroziński
      dawid mroziński  5 days back

      chcą po prostu zabawne i wirtualnie świecie :)

      • Nibelung Valesti
        Nibelung Valesti  5 days back

        That homunculus is missing the most nerve-dense part of male body...

        • that e36 dude
          that e36 dude  5 days back

          Is there actually an up and down in space. What do we have as a reference.
          Random alert

          • Withered Gamer
            Withered Gamer  2 weeks back

            Do you know if they use AI in their software (or plan to) so that they can anticipate user actions and prime some kind of secondary bladder to provide a lower latency to activating the tactor when the user performs the anticipated action?

            • Wisp
              Wisp  2 weeks back

              As someone who’s wanting to look into this as a career, what kind of education would a job at haptix require?

              • Phi-Net
                Phi-Net  3 weeks back

                Thank you Destin, I'm writing a research paper on haptic feedback, the failures of the past designs, current innovations, and the future of the industry, your videos have helped a lot for digesting all the research. You are officially a source for my essay.

                • Uh
                  Uh  1 months back

                  Destin thought he broke something at 4:09

                  • alkoia
                    alkoia  1 months back

                    they could use thermoelectric pads and just switch the polarity to produce hot or cold sensation, so they don't have to deal with hydraulics!

                    • Alex Tveit
                      Alex Tveit  2 months back

                      Have watched this video probably 4 times over the year since it was released. Just love the content and how the interviews were conducted. Please please continue to do follow-ups and similar videos

                      • shad covert
                        shad covert  2 months back

                        "we are sacks of watery meat stuff".
                        -Destin 2019

                        • Daniel
                          Daniel  3 months back

                          HaptX needs to work with the prosthetic industry, to enable them to improve the lives of amputees.

                          • John-Paul Parker
                            John-Paul Parker  3 months back

                            What I like about these kinda videos is how intelligent you are, there's no way a LOT of people could hold a technical conversation with boffins like this but you hold your own, we can see the brain ticking over and then you surprise them with your questions and assumptions on how the hardware is working. You could see that with their facial expressions and looking at each other for approval haha.

                            • Rosa I Guess
                              Rosa I Guess  3 months back

                              23 & me gives your info to the cops

                              • genralpompeyo generalpompeyo

                                Great vid!

                                • Enthusiastic Gamer
                                  Enthusiastic Gamer  3 months back

                                  "We're sacks of watery meat stuff."
                                  - Smarter Every Day

                                  • Hugo Friberg
                                    Hugo Friberg  3 months back

                                    2050 news: man dies of hypothermia from VR game

                                    • Kadam Alibakhsh
                                      Kadam Alibakhsh  3 months back

                                      Seeing Dustin think makes me feel smart

                                      • Ouchie
                                        Ouchie  3 months back

                                        Interesting that you have to censor the air feeding ribbon

                                        • TacticalStoner
                                          TacticalStoner  3 months back

                                          These guys are way to protective. Technology moves so fast this is already old news. I understand they dont want people to copy them but dont have dustin come interview you then because he will ask and you guys go erm can i answer that makes you look dumb.

                                          • Lego Sushi
                                            Lego Sushi  3 months back

                                            "Nobody cares about electrical engineers... I'm with Geoffrey, an electrical engineer."

                                            • morning1500
                                              morning1500  4 months back

                                              Hi, Destin. I THINK I have an answer for the thermal interactions... Peltier junctions. If current flows one direction the hot and cold sides will be one way. Reverse the current, and they flip over! Thus, you'd have one side of the junction touching your hand, and the other some kind of heat sink. This is where just a steady flow of water would be sufficient... you don't have the lag of the flow, or lags in changing the temperature, etc... the Peltier junction is against your hand, and can change very quickly, depending on the current flow and direction. By changing the "attack/decay/sustain/release" of the current, they can make the temperature change quickly, slowly, etc, and adjust your perception. NOTE: I have NO CONNECTION AT ALL with the folks at HAPTX, this is just MY THEORY about how this works... based on the limited information given here, and my own GEEK factor. :) Just FYI, I absolutely LOVED this video and the one before it... these are AMAZING and are my favorite of all the "Smarter Every Day" vids. :) God bless!!

                                              • 45shfifty
                                                45shfifty  4 months back

                                                Peltier modules for heat change

                                                • morning1500
                                                  morning1500  4 months back

                                                  I just saw this comment AFTER posting mine. ;)

                                              • Felipe Furze
                                                Felipe Furze  4 months back

                                                We don't care about you Jeffrey

                                                • Matt Kelly
                                                  Matt Kelly  4 months back

                                                  Gotta give it to these guys they went well out of there way to your answers and that struck me as very cool

                                                  • Gregor Tidholm
                                                    Gregor Tidholm  4 months back


                                                    • Souless Deeds
                                                      Souless Deeds  5 months back

                                                      When he talks about the thermal transfer in the glove and thinking its gotta be liquid cooling and heating. To be able to do that. I honestly first thought about the electrical process auto makers use to heat and cool seats in vehicles. Take my dads Ram 1500, he got all the bells and whistles. This was the first vehicle I had ever ridden in that had not just heated seats, because thats been around for a long time. But also cooling function as well. I had gone to school to auto and Diesel training. I am Ford certified. But I never worked on fords. I worked on Cummins engines and freightliner trucks. My dads truck has cooling option for his seats and when you hit the button its pretty quick about removing the heat from my seat. You do feel the difference quickly. And its all done by how they direct electricity through these modules in the seats. If they run electricity one way through it the seats will heat up. If they run electricity the other way the seats will cool. I don't remember the exact names and details. But I at least remember this much. So that's why I first thought they might be using a similar system. But to my knowledge the modules are big enough to hold in one hand. But its the special material or alloy they use to do the heating and cooling thats important. So I guess they could come up with a way to make it fit in a glove.

                                                      • Ethan Huffman
                                                        Ethan Huffman  5 months back

                                                        Damnit this was super cool. I fully understand the IP thing. I deal with the same thing at my job, but damnit. I wanna know!!!! Also Destin you're very good at asking the correct questions.

                                                        • timothy Roosa
                                                          timothy Roosa  5 months back

                                                          Throughout you could see all of them in almost physical pain of holding back information that they so want to talk about and explain because you can tell this is their baby and they have worked very hard on it...

                                                          • airpeguiV2
                                                            airpeguiV2  5 months back

                                                            I'm an electrical engineer... Ouch!

                                                            • Jonathan Hall
                                                              Jonathan Hall  5 months back

                                                              Destin, you must have driven your folks batty.

                                                              • Fernando Olvera
                                                                Fernando Olvera  5 months back

                                                                2019 now, do a follow up video of this

                                                                • muTrisable
                                                                  muTrisable  5 months back

                                                                  THIS NEEDS TO BE OPEN SOURCED !!!
                                                                  Just so I can see how every bit of it works =D

                                                                  • chester82gtstang
                                                                    chester82gtstang  5 months back

                                                                    This video was pretty much the most informative video I've ever seen on youtube. So much info so quick really awesome!

                                                                    • Brett Rigby
                                                                      Brett Rigby  5 months back

                                                                      23 and me, hmm isn't it weird how we're all now willingly handing over dna samples to a company that is ran by google. just don't.

                                                                    • Brandon Royer
                                                                      Brandon Royer  5 months back

                                                                      Honestly it was kind of easier to understand them when they talked about the glove. More simplistic than technical. Easier for people who dont know alot about the subject but who might want to get into it.

                                                                      • Fritz Coleman
                                                                        Fritz Coleman  5 months back

                                                                        This was an amazing video! One thing this did was strengthen my belief in how amazing our bodies are! The size and scope of what they are trying to recreate our bodies do so efficiently and compact. I really enjoy your content and the fundamental base that you stand on, keep the great content coming.

                                                                        • adam
                                                                          adam  5 months back

                                                                          My hand fell asleep like 8 times during this video. Kinda ironic.

                                                                          • Steve Sloan
                                                                            Steve Sloan  5 months back

                                                                            More my first question before putting the haptic glove on would of been.... “Can this glove snap my fingers off?”🇦🇺😂😂😂😂 “We can say that until you sign this waver”... Pun intended😂😂😂

                                                                            • bulldogce
                                                                              bulldogce  5 months back

                                                                              You look like a farmer with that flannel and hat

                                                                              • Sam Drew
                                                                                Sam Drew  6 months back

                                                                                At 0:17 there is a little black dot covering his hand

                                                                                • Daisy Cutter
                                                                                  Daisy Cutter  6 months back

                                                                                  Love how HaptX guys were squirming over sharing that they had essentially GPS mapped a hundred plus "pixel actuators" (Which is ... Brilliant to say the least) using optical sensors and magnetic fields (or, some other term that's way over my head)This technology would not only revolutionize synthesized touch, but the real world applications are endless, from Macro to micro this technology could really change things. I really need to follow these guys.

                                                                                  • Hold my beer. Hey y'all, watch this.

                                                                                    Best one I've seen yet. Well done.

                                                                                    • Daniel Blinder
                                                                                      Daniel Blinder  6 months back

                                                                                      Such a solid, informative, engaging video. Truly, well done.

                                                                                      • Josh Stovall
                                                                                        Josh Stovall  6 months back


                                                                                        • Ramon Caceres
                                                                                          Ramon Caceres  6 months back

                                                                                          Imagine if they where open about the project in ways.... It probably be completed by now. They need to come out with gloves. This glove is nice but Overkill. This isn't Player One yet

                                                                                          • Jace Da Ace
                                                                                            Jace Da Ace  6 months back

                                                                                            Thanx Destin!!! Extremely interesting.....appreciate your time & effort on this topic!!!

                                                                                            • Daddy Yo
                                                                                              Daddy Yo  6 months back

                                                                                              Hitting on important question look at this Destin lol😁😁