Summer Of Glove: The Peregrine Insan-o-Controller

By Alec Meer on September 2nd, 2009 at 10:15 pm.

Scanning the hardy Blues News, I initially mistook the headline ‘Peregrine Glove’ to be a most peculiarly-named videogame. Instead, it’s one of those totally, gloriously, ridiculous batshit controllers that occasionally make an inevitably doomed play to replace or augment the venerable keyboard. This experimental hand-wrapping has the autocue-based blessing of one of the world’s top DoTA players, so perhaps this time PC gaming controls really will be revolutionised…

(Er. I didn’t Photoshop that slogan onto the image, lest you’re worrying.)

I can’t pretend I’ve heard of Pu “Whisper” Liu before, but perhaps you have. Who here thinks he’s promoting the Peregrine out of earnest love for the product?

That introduction video amuses me highly, because it spends so much time talking about how comfortable the glove is and almost nothing on what it does. I didn’t come out of it at all sure why I should buy a Peregrine instead of a nice £5 wollen glove from Marks & Spencers.

Fortunately, some videos uploaded the next day explain things rather better:

The concept is this: the fingers and palm of the glove contain 20 sensors. When tapped upon or otherwise combined, these sensors activate hotkeys in your favourite electric videogame, meaning that you don’t really need a keyboard to play. Once you’ve memorised which sensors you’ve allocated to what, anyway. Why would you not want a keyboard? Perhaps you have an absurdly tiny desk. Perhaps you have RSI. Perhaps you believe that reducing the distance your fingers need to travel between keys gives you an edge in high-speed strategy games like DoTA. Perhaps you have a phobia of oblong-shaped objects.

More videos here.

Anyone fancy a Peregrine, then? I’m entirely sure I wouldn’t find any possible use for it myself, but then I’m not a pro-gamer. If I was, I’d surely own a hat made of gold and a harem containing a thousand Natalie Portman clones. As it is, I only own a hat made of bronze and a harem containing 48 Renée Zellweger clones.

No release date or price seems available as yet, but more about the Peregrine can be found here, including the revelation that it’s been in the making for five years. You know what else lasts five years? A £10 keyboard.

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70 Comments »

  1. Vinraith says:

    Speaking as someone with the occasional annoying tendinitis flare-up as a result of PC controls, it’s the mouse, not the keyboard, that’s the usual culprit. I’d be VERY interested in a replacement for the mouse that was easier on the wrist but didn’t abandon the precision control to which I’m accustomed, I’m just not certain such a thing is possible.

    Still, as long as people are inventing keyboard gloves, I suppose I can take some solace that controller innovation is still present. Maybe if they throw enough weird ideas at the wall one of them will eventually stick.

  2. Leeks! says:

    You know what else lasts five years? A plan to industrialize Mother Russia.

  3. rocketman71 says:

    Whoa, another POS that will be shown in ten years in those “top 20 stupid concepts”.

    BTW, the smile at the end of the first video is oh-so-sincere.

  4. ruaidhri.k says:

    flying monkeys. my ass.

  5. Petethegoat says:

    Here’s a direct quote from their website:

    “The front-mounted ultra-bright LED lets you toggle between modes such as “breathing” and the ever-popular “pew-pew laser” mode.”

    O_O

    I am afraid.

  6. army of none says:

    Whelp, I expect this to be the last thing I hear about /this/.

    (I reserve the right to make fun of my own comment if this “Peregrine” business becomes massively popular…)

  7. coupsan says:

    nooooooooooooooo

    This is terrible.

  8. morte says:

    I’m confused, is this really real?

  9. shiggz says:

    Replace the mouse or make one big enough for you know.. actual men with man sized hands.

  10. wat says:

    Actually, this idea isn’t exactly new and isn’t all that bad for wearable computing applications (Where, as the name implies, one needs to issue commands to a computer while moving around,preferably while leaving the hands or at least one hand free).
    It’s use in games, however, seems rather pointless.

  11. Nerd Rage says:

    I’m more interested in this harem of 1000 Natalie Portman clones, where can I get one of those?

  12. A-Scale says:

    You know what else lasts five years? A plan to industrialize Mother Russia.

    Sold to the man with the funny joke hat. I loves me some 5 year plan jokes.

    I could see this being useful only in a Natal style context, whereby the camera would see my arm swinging wildly about to turn, and I could touch my fingers together to fire. I would sort of like that if only for the ability to feel my intensity a bit more. It is much more satisfying to unleash a hail of bullets from Sasha on someone when squeezing one’s fingers together than it is when clicking a mouse. Or at least I think it would be.

  13. Arnulf says:

    obligatory MC Hammer joke?

    …allright, allright, I’m not going down there…

  14. Serondal says:

    I thought it would be a good idea to create a system where you put a camera on the top of your monitor and it locks onto your retina and then you use the movement of you eyes to move the cursor on the screen (so in other words you look at something on the screen, the mouse is moved to that object) Then I thought “How the hell would you click the mouse” and my mind says “Blink! You could program it to ignore random blinks and only respond to blinks that you do on your own , not as a reflex type deal” Then I think “Wait, can I blink as fast as I can click a mouse? Do I want to blink 50 times in a 4 minute time span? This is a horrible idea” My wife agreed with me ;P

  15. Bhazor says:

    For flip sake just give us a decent multi-touch screen already. I do like how both videos show a keyboard during the demonstrations just to show how much easier the keyboard would be to use.

    That said if it lets you trigger macros using obscene gestures then I might be sold. Imagine flipping off the screen to activate your special moves.

  16. Linfosoma says:

    @ Vinraith: what about the Novint Falcon? That looks kinda neat.

  17. Torgen says:

    Someone spent money to pay for this to be developed and manufactured.

  18. Serondal says:

    @Bhazor = Imagine flipping off the screen to make your character in game flip off someone else in an MMORPG, that would be true insulting immersion

  19. subedii says:

    Hey it’s a Powerglove! I remember those!

    Any chance of us getting Rob the Robot back as well?

  20. Nimdok says:

    A similar tool was made by a friend of mine to help him with graphic design, same basic premise but keyed in with his editing suite to allow him to do things like grab a model on the screen and rotate it, to point and drag, change options with a motion, etcetera; he mostly designed it to counteract the carpal tunnel he was developing.

    I’m fairly certain he patented it and that these people may just be hearing from his company lawyer…

  21. Serondal says:

    It get the feeling that really using this thing would cause you some serious hand disfigurements in your latter life and some serious hand cramps over the short term if I understand it correctly.

    I think it is worth noting that in the Book Digital Fortress the assassin used something a lot like this to send text messages to his boss when he killed someone. It describes him touching his fingers together to activate sensors in his glove in order to type messages.

  22. Blast Hardcheese says:

    @subedii:

    You did get ROB. He was in Super Smash Brothers Brawls. Children’s toys are now more complex than ROB so I really don’t think he needs to be replaced.

  23. Serondal says:

    I actually hope this does well. IF you were to combine this with track IR and actaully put some LEds on the glove itself you could not only use it instead of a key board you could use it instead of a keyboard and a mouse then use track IR to track your head movements. could create some SERIOUSLY in depth FPS games where the way you hold your hand is the way your character literally holds the gun, maybe allowing you to hold it around corners or smack people with the butt of your rifle or pistol whip them.

    I could certainly see this combined with mouse that has a lot of extra buttons on it for RTS games making controlling your army a lot easier

  24. Keith Nemitz says:

    @Vinraith: Check out the vertical mouse by Evoluent. It’s really worked for me. But also check your posture. The best I’ve read to date is “8 Steps to a Pain Free Back”. But it also vastly improved the circulation to my wrists.

  25. Ansob. says:

    I’d love to use this if it could replace my mouse. Sadly, wasd are mandatory for FPS gaming, so no keyboard replacement for me.

  26. Will Tomas says:

    I love the Peregrine. It’s so bad.

    …sorry.

  27. Serondal says:

    LMAO Will :P

    It won’t replace your mouse since it is okay keys (it doesn’t have the ability to capture movement or gestures as far as I can see) You could wear it and use the keyboard at the same time but I don’t think it would be worth it lol.

  28. Jimbo says:

    Looks wizard for playing some Rad Racer with.

  29. Serondal says:

    You know looking at where the sensors are you actaully COULD use it to replace WASD if you made the tips of the fingers do the same thing as W A and D, maybe have the tip of your thumb jump and your pink crouch, the only problem (and this is a big one) Is trying to replace the S key for moving backwards :P Still it would be like 100% pointless because if you’re going to do that you might as well just use the freaking keyboard. Who really looks down while they’re playing any how?

  30. Ging says:

    Wait, hang on – as gamers, we should have harems of cloned famous people?

    When did that happen?

  31. Serondal says:

    I wouldn’t exactly go so far as to say Natalie Portman is famous ;P

  32. Vinraith says:

    @Keith Nemitz

    Yeah, my posture’s terrible and half the time I don’t even have my wrist properly over the wrist rest, so it’s my own damn fault and I know it. That vertical mouse is very interesting, though. It’s nice to know there’s something to try should the issue ever get worse.

  33. Thingus says:

    Dammit, Will, you beat me to it :\ Havn’t watched the videos, but it’s a neat idea for someone who makes odd hand-tapping motions all the time, but finds hotkeys fiddly. IF you could make up an alphabet for it, though, it could be HANDy (Really sorry) if you’re on the move.

  34. Jambe says:

    I rather like this idea of harems filled with clones of beautiful people.

  35. Serondal says:

    I wonder if it will support wearing a glove on each hand, that would give you more than enough contacts to replace a keyboard totally and type emails and messages ect once you learned where all the keys are :P Then this single would be HANDs down the best input device ever created. I have to HAND, this could be the next big thing. Before you know it they’ll be making money hand over fist okay I’ll stop now.

  36. Ste says:

    For some reason this glove seems like something that could really benefit Stephen Hawking….

  37. Serondal says:

    As far as I know Ste he can only move his cheek at this point?

  38. skizelo says:

    Natalie Portmen shurely.

  39. The Colonel says:

    Now all we need is someone to develop Michael Jackson: Adventures in Neverland.

  40. Serondal says:

    X10 Crotch Grab bonus multiplier! . . . ?

    Propofol Overdose, Game Over O .o

  41. Andy`` says:

    Though this could obviously all change: Fall 2009 expected release, initial prices (speculative) $99.95 preorder, final consumer shelf price $129.95 (I’m assuming its dollars, since they were talking American). Also some chat about using it for Photoshop and other CAD stuff, and they apparently have a US military contract, and might do a motion control version for the Other Hand.

    From this, which was linked on their website: http://www.pcworld.com/article/166211/hands_take_flight_with_the_peregrine_sensory_input_gaming_glove.html

  42. Bhazor says:

    Really I can’t see how this can be more accurate than a mouse or more efficient than a keyboard. Touch screens are certainly the next step, then maybe true 3d but until we get tensile feed back any natal style “immersion” control is fundamentally flawed. In the example Serondal gives your arm would be clipping through walls and enemies. Or your real arm would be outstretched whilst your virtual arm would be all scrunched up an inch from your face because you just bumped into some furniture.

    Reply to Andy

    The thing about the US military is that those cunts invest in pretty much everything because they have to spend their justify their budget somehow. Hell, a fifth (or a third according to some http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm) of all US tax revenue goes to them. Consider that next time you hear complaints about nationalised health care costing too much.

    Essentially they’d probably invest in acompany making toaster with a bayonet sticking out the side and the phrase “Kill the bastards” written in comic sans around the temperature control/browning knob.

  43. Forak says:

    That really doesn’t look any easier to use to me then the good old keyboard. I don’t understand the appeal this is supposed to have? him ‘chaining together abilities’ as shown in the movie would probably be a lot easier just pressing Z X C and V..

  44. Andy`` says:

    re, US military:
    a) That’s not a nice word. You know the one I mean. No, not “immersion”, the other one.
    b) I live in the Great Britainland, so the costs of nationalised health care are incapable of phasing me. I’m assuming you’re of the Kingdom too, since you spelt nationalised with an S, but your hatred for the military of another man’s nation leaves me to be uncertain on the matter.
    c) I merely mentioned the contract of a military nature because (i) they did, and (ii) it’s the reason they might be making the motion controller.

    Moving on,

    Efficiency of a control device is (/wrt input devices and musical instruments) centred around two things: pattern recognition and comfort.

    With regards to Peregrine: The pattern recognition bit of this is probably only marginally better than than a keyboard, or the same, assuming you removed all unnecessary keys from either the keyboard or the key map in your mind. But it could be quicker to process the patterns with lots of unnecessary keys far out of the way. Comfort could be much improved from a standard keyboard, however. So for its purposes (shortcuts), this could be much nicer than current alternatives, and if you do alot of keyboard shortcut usage (games and CAD tools, really), it could be worth the dollarz. But everyone adjusts to what they use and what they prefer, and the Dreamcast controller wasn’t bulky, yes? So it might not get positive receptions overall.

    Natal and similar things might not work so well mainly because of comfort problems, rather than pattern recognition problems. But if the Wii Remote can do so well, what’s to say something even more arm wavy can’t? Only pessimism.

    Pessimism and cupcakes.

  45. Serondal says:

    After watching the video I’m less impressed than I was before. Still I Think this may have some good applications in certain games that use a ton of buttons like a flight simulator

  46. Ben says:

    There are drivers for console controllers that give them the functionality of the mouse

    perhaps some clever chappy will cook up something similiar to achieve that all important Minority Report accessibility?

  47. Persus-9 says:

    I like how in that video he doesn’t apear to be using the palm pad or the secondary thumb pad at all.

    Thinking about those £5 M&S glove and £10 keyboard I’m thinking that you could easilly build this for yourself. I mean come on it’s just closing different circuits by physically putting contacts together. Heck actually forget the keyboard, use the guts of a 360 controller and that way you can easily make it wireless, you lose a few buttons but hey how many commands do you expect to learn in the hour you spend messing about with it before going back to the keyboard.

    Yet part of me still wants to buy it because part of me is a total sucker for cool futuristic crap but a year ago that part of me talked the rest of me into buying a OCZ NIA (the awesome mind activated input device that works great as long as there aren’t any nearby electrical transformers like you might find in oh say a computers power supply – d’oh!) and so that part of me isn’t allowed to make buying decisions anymore.

  48. Hoernchen says:

    I’d take the razer brain wave thingy over this any time. Btw, what happened to this apperently slightly over-hyped thing ?

  49. Stabby says:

    But everybody will know when you’re masturbating!

    “What’s up girlakjhdfgkljahgksjadfhkghsdf”

  50. Aisi says:

    Yesss, I am such an avid player of DotA, this is just the thing! ONLY 100USD!! WOW!! I can just image the many CS possibilities, along with TF2 and all those single-player RPGs I love. Will buy on release day.