The Peregrine: High Tech Your Gaming Style
Written by Dot Flanagan Monday, 28 March 2011 23:00
|The Peregrine: High Tech Your Gaming Style|
I was given the awesome opportunity to try out The Peregrine this past month and was even graced by an awesome phone call from the inventor himself. The Peregrine is a wearable multi-interface peripheral that plugs into your computer's USB port. You use it with your left hand along with keyboard and/or mouse. The company who makes it is Iron Will Innovations. Their main target is gamers, professional or casual, but the product can be used for just about any type of program on your PC or Mac. I personally used it with Photoshop, Illustrator, and even to change my music on my music player. When I first heard about this glove, it was something I knew I wanted to look further into and see what it is all about. It is definitely one of those products that you have to see and use in order to understand the hype around it.
The first thing that I noticed about the The Peregrine glove when I first got it was how cool it looked. It is similar to wearing a baseball or golf glove, although much lighter in comparison due to the light weight materials used to make it. Instead of hiding the wires used for the sensors (all 21 of them), they actually incorporated them into the design. The silver lines you see on the glove are the wires. With close inspection, you can tell they thought of it all -- the wires are formed like a thin spring that allows it to stretch whenever you wear the glove and move around with it on your hand. Not only that, but it is sewn very cleverly. You can barely see the threads.When I say this glove is very well made, you can bet I am not kidding you. They thought of just about everything. There are mesh patches to help reduce palm sweating, a very comfortable velcro strap around your wrist (even if you don't have it strapped around your wrist, the glove is still very comfortable), very flexible materials were used for the basis of the glove, and it's very easy to wash. Yes, you can wash this glove without a problem. Iron Clad suggests that all you have to do is wear it and wash your hands with soap and water. But that's not the best part.
Glovebox is very easy to configure and use. It is always highly recommended that once you have the glove connected and the software downloaded and installed, that you calibrate the glove. By calibrating it, you are basically programming it to be used by you with as much ease as possible. Also, you are able to program several different types of map keys to use with whatever software or game you'd like to use it with. It is highly recommended for MMORPGs or RTS games (mostly for RTS though), due to how the controls work and how the glove functions. As an example of such games, many customers have been reported using mainly World of Warcraft and League of Legends. There are just over 30 combinations of keys that can be used within the glove (ideally, you should be able to program the glove to type words). And if you want to try other map keys made by other users, there's a place on the Peregrine's website where you can download, as well as submit your own, mapkeys. I think my favorite part of the whole software is that you can define how sensitive the touch points are within Glovebox, especially with the different strengths in your fingers and where the touch points are located.
To best understand this product is also to learn a little bit of it's history. The inventor, Brent Baier, was simply looking for a way to use his palm pilot with ease as he was tired of the small little Qwerty keypad he was forced to use. Around 2005, he came up with the idea to create a device out of a glove in which he could use on his computer. Later he realized that it would also work great with more than everyday applications and programs, but especially gaming. It took five years of development and marketing before he introduced The Peregrine in 2010.
For the glove to fit properly and without issue, there are currently three sizes: small, medium, and large. Don't worry, there is a very easy-to-use size chart provided by Iron Will for you to make sure you have the right size. Not only that, but they included a six-month warranty on the glove as well as a one-year warranty on electronics. If you decide that you need a different size glove and would like to get a different one, their glove warranty covers that. Since the company is about a year old, they only have the three sizes and they are made for right-handed users (the glove fits your left hand). But as I found out during my interview with Mr. Baier, they are working on a larger variety of different types of gloves and sizes.
The only problem I had with this glove was the issues with Microsoft's NET frame when you're trying to install the software. This is due to Microsoft releasing two NET frames when they released Windows 7. But if you follow the The Peregrine website's instructions, you should be fine. But even if you're having issues, calling their Customer Support is no issue. In fact, their customer support was incredibly awesome towards me and was very helpful with my issue.
I used the glove on my PC, which has Windows 7 64-Bit, to test and play around with the glove. For those Mac users out there that just went spastic- do not worry, you've been thought about as well and are not left out. It took some time to get used to it and it's functions. I will admit, that it was almost overwhelming at first considering how many points I could easily map out (there are just over 30 of them), but I pushed myself to learn and did not let it get to me, in which it took about an hour of playing around with just to get used to it's basic functions.
First, I played around with the mapkeys and tested the sensitivity by "touch typing" words out and such. Then I moved on to trying it out with simple games (played an online game called Guitar Master, which is similar to Guitar Hero -- my score was terrible the first time). Of course, since I also use Photoshop and Illustrator, I had to try it out with those programs by programing the most common tools for use. And then the big test was when I tried to play Unreal Tournament 2004 and Champions Online. I found out quickly that it is definitely not really made for first person shooter games as it is hard to walk with the glove on the left hand and it is definitely not recommended, by both me and Iron Wills, that you do not program WASD into the glove as it actually slows you down than help. I can see how useful it is with such games like Champions and real time strategy games, especially with the "use X button to cast spell X". It was useful for programs where I could used set up for macros such as Photoshop and Illustrator, where I use a lot of shortcuts to start with.
One last thing I wanted to touch on, even though some people would not think twice about it. When I received the glove from UPS and opened up the cardbox, I noticed the box that the glove comes in. This shows just how much they paid attention to details; the logo is in the shape of two fingers touching as well as a peregrine falcon spreading it's wings. The glove is packed in a little reusable zip-up baggy as it is meant to keep the glove clean while being stored (won't have to worry about the six foot long USB cord being all over the place), and then the best part of the packaging was... the barcode. LOVED the barcode! Like I said, this may be more my artsy-fartsy, geeky side than anything but it is definitely something I wanted to touch on within this review.
For a new tech toy that has not been on the market long, it is actually very functional and very useful. Gamer or not, it is one of those definitive gadgets that is moving the industry forward into the next century. Some people may think that it looks like an upgraded Nintendo PowerGlove, but honestly, it really is much more than just for looks. Iron Will Innovations made sure that when you buy this product, that you're buying all around quality, and honestly, it is totally worth the $150. This glove has great potential in changing the industry standard and be used for much more than it was intentioned -- the military could use it as a training tool or even a tool out in the field, as a physical rehabilitation instrument, allowing someone with a disability to interact in a new way that is more comfortable than alternatives, virtual reality simulations -- the possibilities are endless. And I honestly cannot wait to see where this product is headed.
Check the Image Gallery for pictures of the Peregrine glove.
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