Facebook Inc FB, which rebranded as Meta Platforms Inc, showed off “haptic gloves” recently and a California-based startup, HaptX, says that the Mark Zuckerberg-led company’s appear to be “substantively identical” to its patented technology.
What Happened: HaptX founder and CEO Jake Rubin released a statement and said that over the years his company has hosted many Meta engineers, researchers, and executives and demonstrated their “groundbreaking haptic technology.”
Rubin made a note of Meta’s release of prototype microfluidic haptic feedback glove and said that the core components of that wearable like the silicone-based microfluidic tactile feedback laminate and pneumatic control architecture appeared to be similar to its own patented technology.
The executive said they have yet to hear from Meta. “We look forward to working with them to reach a fair and equitable arrangement that addresses our concerns and enables them to incorporate our innovative technology into their future consumer products.”
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Why It Matters: Last month, Facebook announced rebranding as Meta, saying its vision was to help bring metaverse to life.
On Wednesday, Zuckerberg posted a video on his Facebook feed showing off the gloves. The video featured him interacting with a pile of Jenga blocks and rolling dice and playing chess.
Facebook in a statement Tuesday said it was building the world’s first high-speed microfluidic processor — a chip on the glove that controls airflow which moves actuators.
The social media giant said haptic gloves contain hundreds of actuators — tiny motors, which move in such a way that the wearer feels they are touching a virtual object.
These actuators have physical limitations since they generate heat and cannot be comfortably worn, thus Facebook’s team dabbled in the emerging fields of soft robotics and microfluidics.
Facebook's Oculus VR scientist Andrew Stanley said in the blog post that what sets its work apart from others in terms of microfluidics is that they emphasize “making things very lightweight, wearable, and fast.”
It was reported in September that Facebook is building a chip to power machine learning and also working on another chip to improve video transcoding quality.
Price Action: On Wednesday, Meta Platforms shares closed nearly 0.6% lower at $340.77 in the regular session.
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