Wind-Blaster VR Peripheral Offers New Wind Powered Immersion

Experience the thrill of virtual reality with a new method of haptic feedback.

A new virtual reality (VR) gaming peripheral has been revealed in the foam of the Wind-Blaster by KAIST. The product is aiming to increase player immersion within VR experiences by providing haptic feedback using propellers. By attaching to the users wrists, the unit is a lightweight solution which gives a new degree of feedback and was recently demonstrated at SIGGRAPH 2018.

Wind-Blaster

The demo that attendees were able to try out offered players a chance to experience four different degrees of feedback by using four different weapons and items. This includes a fireball, lighting sword, a rifle and a shield. When using one of the weapons in the VR experience, the Wind-Blaster unit then provides a different degree of wind to simulate the motion and impact of each of the weapons.

Using a HTC Vive head-mounted display (HMD), Vive motion controllers and a modified version of the Survival Shooter Unity tutorial in order to give players a chance to experiment with each of the weapons and items. As each of them have a unique amount of feedback in both wind strength and length, players were encouraged to switch between all of them and experience the full range of immersive opportunities.

Wind-Blaster

For example, when a player presses on the trigger of the controller to fire a virtual shotgun, a single burst of the propeller at maximum speed (33,000rpm) for a duration of 250ms provides the sensation of firing bullets. Additionally, when the player is attacked by an enemy and switches to the shield, Wind-Blast provides a continuous haptic sensation at the maximum speed for as long as the enemy is in contact with the shield and/or the player.

In order to power the Wind-Blast, users will need to wear a processing unit on their back which then runs wires down the wearers arm down to the wrist. Each of the fans measures 65 millimeters and features a brushless DC-Servomotor, with an 80 millimeter sensor board that meaning the whole unit is a small and lightweight unit, perfect for wearing on the wrist. This design not only ensures usability but also lowers the stress on the wear and helps to reduce fatigue.

Wind-Blaster is a unique VR peripheral that looks to offer a new degree of immersion for players. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on the product in the future so stay tuned for more.

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