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HaptX says Meta copied its patented design for haptic glove

Haptics firm HaptX claims Meta (previously Fb) copied its patented designs in a glove that the tech large revealed yesterday. HaptX — a longtime participant within the digital and augmented actuality trade — says components of the glove seem “substantively similar” to its personal work utilizing pneumatics to simulate bodily contact.

“We welcome curiosity and competitors within the subject of microfluidic haptics; nevertheless, competitors should be honest for the trade to thrive,” mentioned HaptX founder and CEO Jake Rubin in an announcement. “Whereas we’ve not but heard from Meta, we stay up for working with them to achieve a good and equitable association that addresses our considerations and allows them to include our modern expertise into their future shopper merchandise.”

The Meta glove is an in-progress design that received’t be commercialized for years, if ever. Nonetheless, Meta Actuality Labs — a VR- and AR-focused analysis division — believes contact is an important piece of future consumer-focused VR / AR methods. The glove makes use of inflatable rubber pads and a classy management system to create a sensation of stress or resistance when customers contact digital objects. HaptX developed an identical inflation-based system that it sells to skilled shoppers moderately than customers.

HaptX, previously referred to as AxonVR, debuted publicly in 2016 after 4 years in stealth mode. Meta researchers say they developed their first glove prototype in mid-2015, not lengthy after the tech large acquired VR startup Oculus. Nonetheless, Meta has considerably expanded on its preliminary prototype, and HaptX claims the 2 firms have had prolonged interactions. “Over time, we’ve hosted many engineers, researchers, and executives from Meta to display our groundbreaking haptic expertise,” mentioned Rubin.

Meta has been accused of unfairly competing against VR software developers by cloning their merchandise whereas limiting entry to the Quest platform. This example is barely totally different as a result of HaptX is accusing Meta of direct patent infringement — one thing that might doubtlessly result in authorized motion. Reached for remark, HaptX declined to touch upon what it might take into account a good settlement with Meta, in addition to whether or not it would pursue a lawsuit if it fails to achieve one.

A Meta spokesperson declined to touch upon the allegations.

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