In 1982 Thomas G. Zimmerman of Redwood City, California filed a patent (US Patent 4542291) on an optical flex sensor mounted in a glove to measure finger bending. Continuing this research, Zimmerman worked with Jaron Lanier to incorporate ultrasonic and magnetic hand position tracking technology to create the Power Glove and the DataGlove, respectively (US Patent 4988981, filed 1989). The optical flex sensor used in the DataGlove was invented by Young L. Harvill (US Patent 5097252, filed 1989) who scratched the fiber near the finger joint to make it locally sensitive to bending.
The DataGlove is considered one of the first commercially available wired gloves. The first wired glove available to home users in 1989 was the Nintendo Power Glove designed as a gaming glove for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It had a crude tracker and finger bend sensors, plus buttons on the back. The sensors in the Power Glove were also used by hobbyists to create their own datagloves. Both the DataGlove and the Power Glove were based on Zimmerman's original instrumented glove or wired glove.
Zimmerman, Lanier et al."A Hand Gesture Interface Device" (1987).