The creators of the Hapto virtual reality (VR) haptic controller are turning to crowdfunding site IndiGoGo to seek further funds to create an updated version of the controller. The campaign will be launched on May 31st 2017.
The Hapto is a slightly odd-looking haptic control device that was first developed in 2013 by inventor Alexander Khromenkov. The first prototype received over $100,000 (USD) in KickStarter funding and now an advanced new version is seeking development funds. The new version has 20 haptic ‘pushers’ to simulate touching an objects, along with an accelerometer and gyroscope for rotation and motion detection.
“Hapto is meant to give mankind the possibilities we have all barely dreamt about. It’s the sci-fi world come true,” said Alexander Khromenkov, CEO and Founder of Hapto. He added, “For many years, we studied all the medical research on how the human brain ‘forms’ tactical feelings. Once we understood that, we created a system that fully reproduces the impact from touching this or that object. You simply put Hapto on, start a game or an app, and get such a realistic haptic effect that you may even forget you’re in virtual reality.”
The device is designed to work with most currently available VR systems, such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and google Cardboard. Support for HoloLens and PlayStation VR is planned to be added soon. In order to integrate Hapto support, developers can use the development kit which has already been made available.
One of the first people to test the Hapto controller, Bernard Jacobsen, was impressed, saying: “It’s a totally different experience. It’s weird to have that sensation. I mean, I know I am not touching it, but it feels like I am touching it. I really like it. I like the idea of it. I can actually be involved with more than just my eyes; I can touch a thing and move it. That’s pretty cool.”
Backers who donate to the IndieGoGo campaign can acquire a Hapto controller by donating $149. The retail price for the finished unit will be $249.
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