At its most basic, the idea behind Virtual Reality is to be able to be somewhere, or experience things you wouldn’t normally be able to, from the comfort of your home. VR gaming pushes that a step further. Now you can experience new lives, new abilities and new stories with a never-before seen level of immersion. In recent years especially, there has been a bit of a VR gaming boom. We’ve seen popular titles like Skyrim and Alien: Isolation adopt VR as an afterthought, while VR originals like Beat Saber have conquered the market.
VR is taking another step towards complete immersion. Imagine being able to feel the effects of the games you play. Now stop imagining. It’s here and I’m going to tell you about it.
Feel the game with VR… clothing?
You may or may not have heard of Haptx. They’ve created VR gloves that provide haptic feedback to the user. The company has been running demos at CES 2020, having visitors wear the gloves and perform various tasks. They boast no perceivable latency, with the exoskeleton providing up to 4-lbs of weight to the user’s hands for realistic touch.
— 𝙹𝚎𝚏𝚏 𝚁𝚊𝚢𝚗𝚎𝚛 @ #CES2020 (@jeffrayner) January 9, 2020
To compliment the idea of feeling the games you’re playing, there’s the Teslasuit. The suit is meant to use haptic feedback in order to simulate effects on the body. Teslasuit also has their own version of haptic feedback gloves, but they don’t tote the same precision that Haptx does. To complete the look, you can try CES sponsor Cybershoes’ own VR offering.
Let me use an example that’s been floating around for a while. What if you were playing a first person shooter, and you could feel the impact of the shots hitting you in the firefight? It won’t hurt as much as actually getting shot, but it’s enough to know it happened. Applying this technology you could make a more realistic FPS. One where you don’t need a weird red filter over your vision to know you’ve been hit. Every shot you take, you feel. And with Haptx gloves, you could simulate the feeling of pulling the trigger, or the hollow feeling of an empty magazine. Don’t forget to wear your gamer socks so you don’t slip.
All jokes aside, imagine playing something like Zero Caliber with all this physical response happening in real time -- or stealing ammo from guns for the meme. It may take some time getting used to at first, but eventually that kind of immersive gaming may be the norm.
VR is an astonishing technology with a multitude of applications. VR gaming is just one of them, and that particular market seems to be growing. Whether for gaming, therapy, or anything else; VR is reaching new heights with no signs of stopping.