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High Fidelity And NeoSensory Announce Exoskin Haptic Jacket

High Fidelity and NeoSensory have announced a new haptic jacket that enables the wearer to feel body contact and the environment around them in virtual reality (VR).

High Fidelity Logo Long

High Fidelity are known for their work on making an open source platform for social VR and in partnership with NeoSensory, creators of hardware to extend the human senses, the new product has come to life. Known as ‘exoskin‘, the wearable is equipped with 32 sensory motors and interfaces with High Fidelity‘s open source architecture for hardware devices. This allows a wearer to feel real-time, precise haptic sensations that are transmitted between users in a virtual world.

The response time of the signals being sent between users means that one can feel another avatar’s tap or graze immediately meaning the two can act and react accordingly. This also means that they could perform a dance together, cueing off each other’s touch and allow them to feel right next to each other even in VR. The possibilities extend beyond just taps and dances however with exoskin able to be controlled with JavaScript in High Fidelity, allowing developers to add features to the exoskin including pulses in a videogame that would be similar to that of a controller rumble at key moments.

Neo Sensory Company Logo Square

“The promise of VR is in collapsing the distance between people and putting them face-to-face,” said Philip Rosedale, High Fidelity CEO. “Touch is a critical part of the experience of human presence and communication. With their deep neuroscience research and experience with haptic response, NeoSensory has made a virtual skin that solves the absence of touch in VR.”

With a range of possible applications the exoskin is a product that will offer new immersive experiences to its wearer along with helping to build a more complete VR solution. With their continued work on building a platform to enable one billion people to exist High Fidelity are excited to extend their product lineup with the announcement of exoskin.

Neuroscientist David Eagleman, co-founder of NeoSensory, said, “When we feel the touch of another person, or the wall we’re running into, or raindrops hitting us, the realism of VR becomes even more compelling. We are thrilled to be collaborating with High Fidelity to bring this feedback into VR experiences.”

Exoskin is currently available for pre-order via the NeoSensory website and is set to launch in July of 2018.

For more stories like this in the future, keep reading VRFocus.