As ridiculously excited as we are about virtual reality and gaming, there are still a few sticking points such as how we’ll navigate these non-physical worlds. Right now, the main methods are either controllers or walking around a room—both are great for general controls, but what about reaching out and actually touching someone? Well, we’re not quite there yet, but Japanese company H2L may have the solution we’re looking for.

Only two days after posting their US$20,000 Kickstarter campaign, they’ve already achieved over 150 percent of their funding goal (over $34,000 at the time of writing). And when you see why people are so excited about backing this product, there’s a good chance you’ll be next in line to pledge!

Kickstarter is…a thing. There’s been a lot of debate about its various merits and drawbacks and just who should be allowed to use it in the first place. (Is it really fair for multinational companies with billions in the bank really be able to ask the public for money?). But one thing it’s very good at is giving fledgling start-ups a bit of cash to take their prototypes to production, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset being one of the best examples. Now, it looks like H2L, the Japanese company working on UnlimitedHand, will be the next to use the platform to launch their inventive solution to interacting with objects in virtual worlds.

▼ They’ve got a pretty nifty video full of slightly awkward English explaining things.

UnlimitedHand looks like exactly what we’ll need to make virtual reality truly immersive. By “reading” the electric impulses produced when users move their hands or fingers, the device can accurately translate those movements into the game world. You won’t need to fumble about with a wand to find a doorknob, for example, and it seems to do a fairly accurate job of producing finger movement as well.


But what’s even more exciting is the haptic feedback the device promises. You’ll actually be able to feel everything in the game, in a manner of speaking. The device apparently uses “multi-channel electronic muscle stimulator (EMS) and [a] vibration motor” to stimulate the user’s hand—in other words, although you won’t be able to tell the difference between materials wood and steel, for example, you’ll definitely feel the sensation of pressing your hand against something hard. It works by basically moving your fingers involuntarily. That sounds kind of scary, but it’s really not dangerous, as H2L explain in the Kickstarter comment section:

“To ensure the safety, we’ve been doing research of electric muscle stimulation for more than five years in collaboration with the universities and research institutes in Japan. It is also compliant with Japanese Industrial Standard of electric massager for household use. Don’t worry, it’s as safe as massager!”


It should put your mind at ease to know that EMS has a number of other uses, from medical to cosmetic, so this isn’t some crazy new invention that will turn your hand into a killer slave bent on taking over the world! (We think.) However, it looks like H2L is looking at putting this technology to use in other ways thanks to Arduino and Unity support. If we could be allowed a bit of wild speculation, it almost seems like the device could even help users play instruments better, by physically “showing” how to perform movements.

▼ Arduino support! Get excited, makers!


The campaign features a number of backer levels, including some early bird specials. The current early bird is for $212, but there are only a few dozen left. After that, you’ll have to get the standard version, which costs $248. Obviously, this doesn’t seem like a consumer-ready device but rather, like the first Oculus Rift, appears to be aimed more at developers. Still, with their emphasis on open software and Unity support, we wouldn’t be surprised to see demos or even full game support shortly after the expected April 2016 shipping date.

Now, the truly important question is, will we need to shave our arms to use UnlimitedHand? Fortunately, H2L has already provided an answer in the comment section!

“It is better to shave if you want to increase the accuracy of the system. Generally users don’t need to shave.”

Time to call Attack on Titan‘s Survey Corps!

Head over to Kickstarter to learn more about UnlimitedHand to learn more and order your own.

Sources: Kickstarter, PR Times, UnlimitedHand, Hachima Kiko
Images: KickstarterUnlimitedHand