To overcome the limitations of Bluetooth irregularities in communications with the Forte Data Gloves, BeBop Sensors has created the Forte Data Glove Wireless Communication Dongle (Dongle). The Dongle generates a much more robust and consistent communication signal that reaches up to 10 meters (30 feet) to allow for desktop or free-range virtual training.
The Dongle is a small USB device that allows a Windows PC to connect to the Forte Data Glove wirelessly, without using the computer’s internal Bluetooth module. The Dongle is ideal for PC systems without an onboard Bluetooth module and for those who want to experience superior wireless range and performance.
Using the Dongle
To use the dongle, simply plug it into the computer, open your Unity project, and start an included scene such as Tabletop, found at Assets/DataGlove/[VR device]/Scenes. When the scene begins, the glove selection menu will appear. If the dongle patch was correctly installed, the glove name should appear in the dropdown menu.
NOTE: some computers may require a USB extension cord so that other ports are not blocked (the extension cord is not supplied at this time).
To verify the gloves are connecting via the Dongle instead of the system’s Bluetooth, go to the Windows Bluetooth settings menu and turn Bluetooth off. The Dongle and Data Gloves should still be functional.
If the glove names do not appear in the dropdown menu, try the following:
- Plug the Dongle into an available USB port; the device should show up without a driver issue in the Device Manager
- If a Windows 10 Notification of “Not recognized” appears, attempt to ignore and proceed – it should not inhibit the installation process
- Else, on some Windows 10 computers, the Dongle initially may not be recognized, and progress stops. In this case, an nRF Connect driver may be needed to update the OS/Device Manager
- Download nRF Connect at: https://www.nordicsemi.com/Software-and-tools/Development-Tools/nRF-Connect-for-desktop/Download
- Install the app and see if the driver issue resolves. The nRF Connect app does not need to be running for the Dongle to operate normally.