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The Power Glove Is So Bad A VR Website Improves It

The Power Glove Is So Bad A VR Website Improves It

A WebXR experiment from Brielle Garcia simulates the Power Glove as input for a game on the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

It's so bad.

Power Glove

The hardware accessory from Mattel for the original NES was released in 1989 and immortalized in Fred Savage's The Wizard that year. Based on VR's first generation of tech from the 1980s, the Power Glove is one of gaming history's most famous examples of a cumbersome and short-lived gaming accessory.

“I just love the idea of recreating fun and weird bits of gaming history in VR. As a kid, I was so hyped to use the Power Glove after seeing it in 'The Wizard'," Garcia told me over direct message. "Though it would be several years before I got to try one myself and be completely disappointed. Recreating that feeling with cutting edge VR tech is just really funny."

In the years between The Lawnmower Man and The Matrix, the Power Glove lived on in experiments as a low cost tool to test out gesture-based ideas related to VR. Now, with Garcia's experiment, the Power Glove is simulated in a fully immersive website.

WebXR sites are actually the first destinations cross-compatible with both Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3, with hand tracking supported across both systems. Indeed, Garcia's Power Glove can be donned in the Web browsers on both headsets, though it is only working as intended so far on Quest 3.

"This is a fun little showcase for what’s possible with WebXR/A-Frame these days," Garcia told me. "Hand tracking is fully supported and the devices are fast enough to even run emulators in the browser."

Don Hopper visited the website with Meta Quest 3. He was able to use basic gestures as a kind of steering wheel for an emulated game on the NES.

The project is still under development and we'll update this post with the URL when it's complete. You can follow Garcia's progress as @tacolamp on X.

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