Since one of the major draws for virtual reality (VR) is the sense of immersion, there are a number of accessories that try and improve upon the level of immersion. One of the most common involves haptics, which allows VR users to feel sensations in the VR world by using a haptic rig.
Nina of VRFocus spoke to Mor Efrati the CTO of haptic feedback company Woojer about haptics and how it can be used to improve the VR experience.
At E3 2018 Woojer were demonstrating two products, the haptic vest and haptic strap. The haptic vest is an ‘out of the box’ product that syncs up to a VR experience and lets the player ‘feel the game’ by providing sensations. For example, if a player is wearing the Woojer haptic feedback vest and is shot in the back, they will feel a sharp spike of feeling, as if they had just been shot (though without the level of pain and other dire consequences, obviously).
“The inspiration came from the music side,” Efrati explains, “With the music strap we designed a device that lets you feel the music through your body and it developed into the vest over the years.”
Woojer have created a version of the vest that allows users to strap a laptop or backpack PC to the back of the vest to allow for a wireless, free-roaming VR experience. Backpack PCs for tetherless VR are becoming common in location-based VR centres and VR arcades. As such, devices like the Woojer haptic vest may start to appear in these centres since they can fulfil a dual purpose.
The company are planning on releasing the Woojer SDK for developers in Q3 of 2018, with further plans for commercial release of the haptic feedback vest in Q4 of 2018, with a current estimated price of around $600 (USD).
The full interview is available to view below. VRFocus will continue to bring you interviews and coverage from the immersive technology sector.