Definition of Dataglove

A dataglove, also known as a wired glove or cyber glove, is a wearable input device used for human-computer interaction. It is worn on the user’s hand and tracks finger movements, hand orientation, and in some cases, hand location in space. This data is then used to provide real-time control and gestural input for virtual reality, robotics, gaming, and other applications.


The phonetic transcription of the word “Dataglove” is: /ˈdeɪtəˌɡlʌv/

Key Takeaways

  1. Dataglove is a wearable input device that allows users to interact with virtual environments through natural hand movements and gestures.
  2. It uses a combination of sensors, such as flex sensors and accelerometers, to accurately capture the user’s hand movements and communicate the data to a computer or VR system.
  3. Datagloves have a wide range of applications, including gaming, simulations, robotics, medical rehabilitation, and design, providing users with a more immersive and intuitive way to control virtual objects.

Importance of Dataglove

The term “Dataglove” is important because it represents a significant advancement in the field of human-computer interaction and virtual reality (VR) technology.

A Dataglove, or data glove, is a wearable device equipped with sensors that track hand and finger movements, enabling users to interact with computer systems and digital environments in a more intuitive manner.

Coupled with VR systems, Datagloves provide users with an immersive experience, allowing them to manipulate virtual objects as if they were interacting with the physical world.

The development of Datagloves has influenced various industries, from gaming and entertainment to medical simulations and training, enhancing user experience and offering more natural and convenient ways to control different applications.


Datagloves have emerged as an innovative means of interaction within the realm of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications, making strides in improving the overall immersive experience. Beyond entertainment, these gloves find significant utility in fields like medical research, robotics, and teleoperation, among others.

Enabling seamless communication between the digital and physical world, they capture hand and finger movements, which are then translated into corresponding virtual actions or commands. By accurately reflecting the nuances of human input and catering to the innate dexterity of users, they not only facilitate more efficient operations but also contribute to the naturalization of human-computer interactions.

The design and sophistication of datagloves may range from simple “bend-sensitive” gloves to state-of-the-art haptic feedback devices – these advanced versions have the capability to replicate the sensation of texture, temperature, and resistance, providing users with a genuinely tactile experience. The key lies in the intricate network of sensors that are embedded within the glove, which transmit vital data to the receiving system to have the inputs processed and acted upon.

In industries such as manufacturing, aerospace, and healthcare, datagloves can effectively enhance remote control capabilities while ensuring operators’ safety and precision. Overall, they represent an exciting evolution in harnessing the power of human dexterity and touch for a multitude of applications, bridging the gap between the digital and physical domains.

Examples of Dataglove

Healthcare and Rehabilitation:In the healthcare sector, data gloves are utilized to assess and monitor the rehabilitation progress of patients, mainly those recovering from traumatic hand injuries or suffering from conditions like arthritis. They help therapists track the range of motion, finger movements, and force exertion, allowing them to design targeted and personalized treatment plans. For example, the CyberGlove systems offer a wireless data glove that can be incorporated into rehabilitation routines.

Virtual Reality and Gaming:Data gloves have a significant impact on the virtual reality (VR) and gaming industry, enabling users to interact with the virtual environment more naturally. These gloves allow for gesture recognition and haptic feedback, enhancing the immersive experience. An example is the Manus VR Gloves, which are compatible with various VR systems such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, providing real-time finger tracking and accurate hand positioning.

Robotics and Teleoperation:Data gloves are often employed in robotics and teleoperation applications to control robotic arms or unmanned aerial and ground vehicles. The gloves can be used to perform complex manipulation tasks by translating the user’s hand movements into commands that the robot can understand and execute. An example of such technology is the Shadow Dexterous Hand, a robotic hand that mimics human-like motions and can be controlled using a data glove, allowing for intricate tasks to be performed remotely or in hazardous environments.

Dataglove FAQ

What is a Dataglove?

A Dataglove, also known as a data glove or wired glove, is an input device that captures hand and finger movements and transforms them into digital signals. It is commonly used in virtual reality environments, computer games, and motion capture systems.

How does a Dataglove work?

A Dataglove uses sensors and electronics to measure hand and finger movements, as well as the pressure exerted through the fingers. These measurements are then converted into digital signals, which can be interpreted by software to control a computer, game, or virtual reality system.

What are some applications of Datagloves?

Datagloves have a wide range of applications, including virtual reality systems, computer games, motion capture for animation or special effects, robotics, sign language recognition, and remote control of devices.

Are there different types of Datagloves?

Yes, there are various types of Datagloves available, such as bend sensors, optical-fiber systems, and electromagnetic tracking systems. Each type has its unique design, functionality, and performance, making them suitable for different applications.

What limitations or challenges are associated with Datagloves?

Some challenges and limitations associated with Datagloves include accurate and reliable motion sensing, limited finger dexterity and range of motion, maintaining a comfortable fit, and high costs for specialized or high-quality gloves. Additionally, some Datagloves might require a learning curve for users to get accustomed to controlling systems with them effectively.

Related Technology Terms

  • Gesture recognition
  • Virtual reality (VR)
  • Haptic feedback
  • 3D user interaction
  • Wearable technology

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