The P5 Data Glove Review

February 2004

The P5 data glove is an excellent glove for its price range. You will not find another glove like it. It offers direct hardware mouse emulation directly out of the box and also offers custom "P5 operation" with games that support it.

Intial setup and installation of the P5 is extremely easy and straight forward. The first step is to connect the P5 glove to the tracking station. From there you connect the tracking station to your USB port. After bootup install the P5 driver CD and your done. You need to run the calibration program that you just installed and you should be able to use the P5 as a mouse instantly.

Using the P5 as a mouse is a cool concept but will probably not replace your everyday mouse use. Why put on a glove and keep it within the optical trackers sights when you can just grab your standard desktop mouse. Using it with applications specifically geared for VR or Gaming does prove very interesting though.

The P5 comes with three games: Hitman2, BeachHead 2002, and TigerHunt. Right away I couldn’t get Hitman2 to work. Probably because of my current PC configuration. So my interaction with this application was minimal.

TigerHunt is a driving/military/shoot’em up game. It proved to be extremely difficult to control with the P5 glove. Driving the truck in the first level will require some training.

BeachHead 2002 was alot of fun with the P5!!! You are stationary while moving around in a 360 degree circle mowing down troops and vehicles as they come after you. This game is a demo but was the best experience I had with the P5 as far as gaming applications.

I also tested the P5 in mouse mode with Quake and Quake2. It can be fun to play but again probably will not replace your current playing style. It strictly emulates a mouse but with the added trouble of moving your hand in awkward positions.

The P5’s major downfall is its optical tracker. Although it works well enough for most applications, it is still a line of sight tracker and suffers from some of the same issues as the early Nintendo Power glove. Long periods of use can cause your hand to become tired. This can be overcome with some intial training. The P5 would benefit extremely from an accelerometer or gyro based tracking system.

Overall I would say that the P5 is a novelity item. I am impressed with its quality and ease of use. The P5 is definetly the next generation Power Glove built with the PC in mind. It is a giant leap in the right direction as far as VR consumer hardware is concerned. Custom applications and homebrew will probably be the P5’s greatest use. I would give the P5 Data glove a 7 out of 10 rating. The SDK be the key to getting the most out of your P5.

Here are some of the specs of the P5 Glove.

Finger Sensor Specs

  • 5 independent finger measurements
  • 0.5 degree resolution (0-90 degree range)
  • 60 Hz refresh rate

Tracking System Specs

  • Patent pending optical tracking system
  • 3-4 foot range from receptor
  • 45 Hz refresh rate
  • 6 degrees of freedom (yaw/pitch/roll/x/y/z)

XYZ Specs

  • 0.125 inch resolution @ 3 foot range from receptor
  • 0.5 inch accuracy @ 3 foot range from receptor

Yaw/Pitch/Roll Specs

  • 3 degree resolution
  • 3 degree accuracy

Unique Desk Mounted Receptor

  • No power cord required
  • Easy on / off removal systems

USB System Specs:

  • USB 1.1 compliant
  • HID Specification compliant
  • 2 USB Interfaces provided – Native P5 Mode, and Standard Mouse / Joystick Mode

Supported Platforms

Fully USB compliant, the premier edition of the P5 is compatible with the PC as well as Mac OS 9 and below, though no Mac game software is currently available. Future editions of the P5 will be compatible with popular game consoles such as PS2 and Xbox.