Earlier this year I was able to attend E3 and as everyone would expect I got to see lots of awesome things that will be coming out in 2016. One of those things is a pair of wireless VR gloves being developed by a company called Manus Machina (http://www.manusmachina.com) The demo I played that uses the gloves was made using Unity and the gloves worked by using the positional tracking system on a Samsung Gear VR. You could think of them similar to how Leap Motion works but the cool part is since the gloves have built in sensors to measure the movement of individual fingers and the palm of each hand you don’t get all the weird stuff that could happen by using IR like Leap Motion has (the Manus E3 demo can be viewed on the homepage of their website).
After playing the demo I explained to them I’m a video game developer who switched from using Unity to Unreal Engine 4 and asked if they had anyone working on other demos for them. They have a few but everyone they are working with is using Unity while one other is using UE4. Without explaining the whole story of how it got to this point I’m now partnered up with these guys to make them a demo. The idea would be to make something that actually shows off hand motions so my goal is to create an interactive demo that allows you to use the gloves to do simple things like push buttons, pull levers, etc. (how many more times will I say “demo”? haha)
An issue came about though during discussions because it seems they do not have a plugin for the gloves to work in UE4 and they had just partnered with Razer so they would like future demos to also work with Razer’s OSVR (http://www.razerzone.com/osvr). This poses a problem for me because I’m not too skilled in C++ and the end goal is for the Manus gloves to communicate with an OSVR using its positional tracking system to control a ‘Controller Actor’ or rigged character in game. I know some C++ but not enough to be able to develop a plugin for those two devices to work together in UE4.
I really believe this new glove technology is another step for UE4 to grow and I would love to see that happen but unfortunately I’m not skilled enough to make that happen. The things I’ve seen people do from this community is inspiring; Rama makes plugins to give UE4 so much more base functionality it’s a surprise he/she is not a UE4 engine developer, Grizly32 developed the plugin that is used by anyone who is working on Arduino based UE4 projects, ‘getnamo’ made our event driven plugin for Razer’s Hydra motion controller and there is so many more I haven’t named or even heard of. I’m hoping this thread can generate some interest in the Manus gloves so someone from our awesome community can develop the plugin that hopefully will lead to UE4 making VR games even more immersive.
I’m not looking to retain rights to this plugin but at the same time I’m even willing to pay someone for this to get done** so we can share it with the community. Like I said, I firmly believe this will benefit UE4 /the community and I would want everyone to have the chance to use them without having to go through the process I’m trying to get through now. Below are all the links you would ever need and if you have any questions just let me know here or PM.
Manus Machina: http://www.manusmachina.com
Manus SDK (and other Manus repos): Manus VR · GitHub
*Razer OSVR: *http://www.razer.com/osvr
Razer OSVR SDK: http://www.osvr.org/
Google Drive Link to my demo in progress for them: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5E0iKDNyyECV2dReGFzZlQwQ3c