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HaptX grabs $12 million to build a glove crammed with sensors

Lucas Matney

A company building a very high-tech glove has just gotten its hands on some new money.

HaptX is building a sensor-packed glove for VR and robotics applications that simulates haptic and resistance feedback for enterprise users.

The Seattle startup has raised $12 million in new funding from Mason Avenue Investments, Taylor Frigon Capital Partners, Upheaval Investments, Votiv Capital, Keiretsu Forum, Keiretsu Capital, NetEase and Amit Kapur of Dawn Patrol Ventures. HaptX has now raised $19 million to date.

The company says this funding will go toward the company's next generation of glove hardware.

I got a chance to demo the company's glove last year and there are certainly some bizarre experiences that are enabled by the product, which uses an external pneumatic box to expand and contract air pockets inside a glove form factor to make it feel like the virtual object you're holding onto in VR is actually in your hand.

HaptX is bringing touch to VR with a pair of scary-looking gloves and a pneumatic suitcase


Needless to say at this point, the virtual reality industry's consumer ambitions haven't quite panned out as expected. The enterprise space has found slightly more enduring success, though much of the enterprise use hasn't expanded too far beyond "internal innovation hubs" and pilot programs. HaptX seems to have zeroed in on the same enterprise customer base as other VR startups, with a lot of its customers using the gloves in design and visualization processes. HaptX has moved away from marketing itself as a VR-only company and has expanded into robotics, reshaping its offering into a solution framed by real-world input and real-world output.

Alongside the funding announcement, HaptX is sharing that it has partnered with Advanced Input Systems to collaborate on "product development, manufacturing, and go-to-market."

The company is focused on enterprise and unfortunately doesn't seem to be building a mech suit for Jeff Bezos, although they sent me a great gif of him demoing the technology earlier this year at a conference.