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HaptX says Meta copied its patented design for haptic glove

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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 business — says elements of the glove seem “substantively equivalent” to its personal work utilizing pneumatics to simulate bodily contact.

“We welcome curiosity and competitors within the area of microfluidic haptics; nevertheless, competitors should be truthful for the business to thrive,” stated HaptX founder and CEO Jake Rubin in a press release. “Whereas now we have not but heard from Meta, we look ahead to working with them to succeed in a good and equitable association that addresses our issues and allows them to include our revolutionary expertise into their future shopper merchandise.”

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

HaptX, previously generally known 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 corporations have had prolonged interactions. “Over time, we’ve hosted many engineers, researchers, and executives from Meta to show our groundbreaking haptic expertise,” stated 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 completely different as a result of HaptX is accusing Meta of direct patent infringement — one thing that would doubtlessly result in authorized motion. Reached for remark, HaptX declined to touch upon what it could think about a good settlement with Meta, in addition to whether or not it’d pursue a lawsuit if it fails to succeed in one.

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A Meta spokesperson declined to touch upon the allegations.

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