Published on April 30th, 2013 | by Greg
Peregrine Gaming Glove: Giving Your Gameplay A Hand
PC gamers, and especially those who play MMOs, have found themselves a bit limited by the traditional mouse-and-keyboard setup. We’ve seen a bunch of controllers that assist in various ways- like the fancy keyboards from MadCatz that offer a wide range of programmable hotkeys, or their mice that offer assignable buttons. But the issue persists- many of today’s more complicated games have outgrown the old-school control scheme.
Enter the Peregrine Gaming Glove- a sophisticated, futuristic wearable computing device, or haptic interface. It literally turns your hands into tiny touchpads in a way, offering 18 different “touch points” and three “activation pads” for a total of 30 or so unique functions available to setup and control actions in-game. Unlike some other peripherals, this one isn’t meant to replace typing controls, and doesn’t work that well for creating text- but it can work in a “macro” environment. In fact, it does make typing on a regular keyboard a bit more difficult and cumbersome, but that’s not likely to negatively affect most gamers, at least while playing.
Regardless of the use case, it will take some learning- and the curve can seem steep at first. Setup is actually really simple- the software is intuitive, and both Mac and Windows software is available, though the OSX version is in beta at press time. You don’t have to run their GloveBox software at all times, just to set up the glove. Remapping is visual, and intuitive, though you’ll want to customize it for different games and actions. We tried it mostly in World of Warcraft, and Star Trek Online- attempts to make it work with FPS games, like Call of Duty or action games like Assassin’s Creed or BioShock Infinite were mostly unsuccessful, though using powers in the latter game were occasionally helpful. For titles where you are used to mapping a lot of actions, then the Peregrine can be really useful, fast and responsive. And yes, it can work with other applications like Photoshop, but makes the other actions
Comfort is paramount, though, and our testers had more mixed reports. For the most part, they are comfortable and not too heavy, as long as your choose your size correctly (only three sizes are currently available: small, medium, and large). The material is fairly breathable, and the company did a good job of integrating the touch-sensitive portions into the fabric. Materials feel solid and well-made. The glove can feel a little constricting, though, with certain sections like those around the thumb feeling awkward. Also, if you have larger hands, you probably won’t be able to reach all 18 touch points- but 15 or so is still plenty for most people, and most purposes. And finally, they get a bit uncomfortable after a couple of hours. We liked the magnetic pod, a thoughtful design that allows it to “break away” safely. Of course, that’s important because of one downside, which is that the Peregrine gloves are wired, not wireless, and use a USB connection.
Overall, we liked the glove- the best one we’ve seen for these purposes, even if it’s still destined to be a niche device and not suitable for everyone. MMO gamers should definitely consider it though, if only because your friends will be incredibly jealous. It looks great, and performs impressively well. The Peregrine cyberglove is available online now for around $150.