SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Bend Labs, a Salt Lake City and Seattle startup, is announcing their demo of the world’s most advanced hand presence technology for virtual reality at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco March 1-3. This technology will allow individuals to use their hands and fingers to interact with virtual objects in the same intuitive way that they interact with real objects. Conference goers can stop by the Bend booth to get a sneak peek at this new level of immersion for themselves. Bend is currently providing their technology to VR training, simulation and entertainment companies, but promises that their technology will be available to a broader audience soon.
Bend’s patented soft sensor technology provides low power, high accuracy measurements of joint angles with no drift and 100% reliability. A single missed frame in VR can break presence, and the same goes for motion tracking. As CEO Shawn Reese explains, “Customers have been coming to us because vision based solutions lose tracking too frequently to be usable for immersive VR applications, and existing sensor technologies either lack the necessary accuracy or the required comfort for practical use.” Bend’s hand presence platform utilizes their patented technology to measure each joint in the finger, which equates to 16 degrees of freedom per hand. Bend’s solution allows users to capture complex finger articulation so they can manipulate and interact with objects in a lifelike manner. Because their sensors are thin and soft, much like a rubber band, the glove is comfortable to wear. With the addition of state of the art haptics and lifelike physics simulation, hand presence has never felt so real.
To date, Bend has raised $2.5M in seed capital and resides in a 6,000 square foot R&D and manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City, UT and has a team at their office in Seattle, WA. Bend is composed of 8 full time engineers and developers, along with 5 part time team members. With four PhD’s, two masters and a slew of engineering and CS degrees, Bend has assembled a world class team that is changing the paradigm of how our physical and virtual selves interact. Although Bend is starting with hand presence, they have plans for integrating their technology into numerous products in the future. The ultra low-power nature of this technology means Bend Enabled gloves, shoes and garments will be able to run off a single coin cell battery for the life of the product, opening the door to VR/AR ready wearables in the future that will allow consumers to seamlessly integrate their physical lives into the metaverse. A sneak peak of Bend’s early stage foot presence and Bend enabled garment technology will be available for select audiences at GDC.