You’ll Love Your Vive-Based Power Glove

Just about everyone was excited when the Power Glove was announced for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989 — it promised a never-before-seen VR experience. Unfortunately technical limitations, a high price, and lack of supporting games quickly turned that excitement in derision. By 1990, it was discontinued and became a kind of joke among gamers. But, these days the Power Glove is nostalgically remembered for its potential (if not its actual delivery).

The Power Glove’s true potential can be unlocked by integrating it with modern VR hardware.” (📷: TEAGUE Labs)

If you’re feeling that nostalgia and want to live your childhood fantasies from The Wizard, it may be time to dig that Power Glove out of your parents’ attic (or order one on eBay). There is only one small problem: only two games were specifically Power Glove-compatible. Luckily, the fine folks at TEAGUE Labs have successfully integrated one with an HTC Vive, and are even working on a simple game.

A look at how the Power Glove was revived with a Vive tracker and Arduino. (📷: TEAGUE Labs)

The hardware setup is probably pretty straightforward for regular Hackster blog readers: the Power Glove’s sensors are connected through an Arduino Due, and that plus a Vive tracker provide enough data for a pretty solid experience. But, to take it even further, TEAGUE also attached a second tracker to a dummy acrylic tablet so the user has something to hold for a more practical VR design interface.

The team was able to simulate more natural interactions with an iPad in VR. (📷: TEAGUE Labs)

At this time, TEAGUE has three applications they’ve tested: a gesture-controlled lightning-shooter, a UX design tool, and a game that looks like a cross between rock-paper-scissors and Fruit Ninja. If you want to build your own Vive-based Power Glove virtual reality dream machine, you can find all of the necessary files on the PowergloveVR GitHub page.