In the latest attempt to more closely align our virtual experiences with tangible sensations in the real world, students at the University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory have developed the Tactile Gaming Vest. What the wearable piece of technology lacks in fashion sense, it hopes to make up for in experience, bringing a physical component to world of video games. The vest’s chest, shoulders and back have been outfitted with solenoid actuators to deliver powerful vibrations that are tied to the action on the screen. While similar concepts have been created in the past, these models employed pneumatics which have slower response times.
During a recent demonstration at the Haptics Symposium 2010, the vest was shown off in conjunction with popular first-person shooter, Half-Life 2, simulating the feeling of gunshots and explosions in real-time. Beyond delivering an additional layer of immersion to gaming and other forms of entertainment, haptics has implications for various real world training scenarios, such as military, driving and medial simulations, where feedback aids in the development process.
[image via Saurabh Palan]