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Gear Check: Peregrine Gaming Glove
04/03/2010 à 16:21
So I'm going to be taking over and doing my own tech review this time, because I was excited about this product and I didn't want
to get the only one, like she did with that
This time I've got ahold of a
Peregrine Gaming Glove
. These things are new, you can't buy them yet—although you can pre-order them from the
. Join me after the break while we put this thing through it's paces!
What Is It?
Apologies for my terrible camera.
I must admit my initial hope when I first got the package in the mail was that this would be a
style interface—you could wave your fingers around in crazy patterns and use it to manipulate the cursor—a replacement for the mouse. Unfortunately, this is still science fiction (although we get a little bit
every day). What the Peregrine actually is, in fact, is a replacement for the
The Peregrine is a thin, lightweight glove that fits over the left hand. There are three silver contact panels—one directly over the tip of the thumb, one on the pad of the thumb, and one in the palm. There are also small, flexible coils of contact wire that run up and down each finger—you manipulate the computer by touching one of the silver panels to one of the touchpoints on the wire. There are 18 touchpoints on the fingers—five on the index, middle and ring fingers and three on the little finger, for a total of 40 possible keypresses. It's a wired accessory (the website indicates they have plans for a wireless version, but currently they use wires because of the superior performance), connecting to your system with a proprietary USB cable. The connection pod (pictured above) snaps into the back of the glove with magnets, so it's easy to pop the pad off if you have to get up from your PC. It has ventilated panels in the palm and one the fingers so you don't get sweaty, and a velcro clasp on the wrist.
How Does It Work?
The first time you plug in the Peregrine, you install and run some simple calibration/keymapping software to set up your keybindings.
The software I tested worked fine on XP, but didn't work on Windows 7 (I didn't get the chance to test it on Vista). This is a test version of the software, though, so I can't imagine that won't be fixed before release. They've also mentioned that they have OS X software on the way, but it isn't complete yet. Fortunately (since I have a Mac), the keymaps are actually stored on the glove itself, meaning you can carry it over to any system that accepts a USB keyboard, no matter what operating system—and it will work perfectly. I had to borrow an XP system from a friend in order to do the initial setup process, but once I did the glove worked flawlessly on my MacBook Pro.
Actually using the glove is a bizarre experience. At first, you feel a little silly trying to control your game by fluttering your fingers. It definitely takes a little while to get used to, both in stretching the form of the glove to fit your hand (some of the contacts are a little stiff) and in retraining yourself to control your game in a totally different way. Once your instincts are retrained, though—and once you've found a keymapping scheme you like—it actually feels remarkably natural. Instead of reaching for your keyboard and hoping you click the right button, you just touch your fingers together. Your muscle sense tells your fingers where to go, rather than relying on looking at the keyboard or memorizing the location of home row by feel. It's faster, and (with practice) more accurate than a keyboard. It also gets you flexing different muscles which in the long term will likely be a big help to gamers who have developed keyboard related stress injuries, like carpal tunnel or tendonitis.
The Final Word
The Peregrine is a whole new way of controlling your game system, and as such it naturally won't be for everyone. It's
, and some people may have a hard time with that. If you spend a little while training yourself to play this way, though—pairing the glove with a good gaming mouse (especially the
, since it has those extra buttons), and spend some time really tweaking your keybindings and macros to get the most out of them, this could be a really powerful piece of gaming hardware—and most of all it's
. As more people use it—making it easier for you to download sample keymaps, macros, and other support to help you get the most out of the glove—this will become hardware for
gamers, as well as the early adopters.
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