Keep your pants on! Feelbelt will shake, rattle, and role your VR experiences.
Haptic feedback is an awesome addition to any VR experience, whether it be the feeling of two swords clashing in Blade & Sorcery or the rumble of a violent explosion in Half-Life: Alyx. It’s an important part of how modern VR hardware immerses you in experiences by allowing you to “feel” the virtual world around you.
A German-based company called Feelbelt wants to take that immersion even deeper with a wearable haptic belt capable of transmitting the entire frequency spectrum from 1 to 20,000 Hz in the form of haptic feedback.
Worn like a traditional belt, feelbelt looks like something you might see in a sci-fi film. The device uses 10 impulse generators each capable of transmitting frequency spectrums in different patterns or all at once in multiple directions. Put simply, the belt allows you to “feel” sounds via detailed vibrations. An explosion on your left, for example, will cause the left side of the feelbelt to rumble harder than the right side and vice-versa.
Combined with the haptics in your controllers, the feelbelt promises more cavernous and emotional VR experience that engage all of your physical senses. No doubt the device would pair well with titles such as WaveXR, Audiotrip, Beat Saber, and Pistol Whip.
In addition to VR you can also use feelbelt for various other mediums, including music. Rock out to The Beths and bust out some dance moves listening to Lizzo; or maybe you prefer something a little heavier like the metal sounds of Origin. You can even use it while watching a movie.
A fully-charged feelbelt is capable of delivering 6 hours of haptic action whether it’s gaming, music, or movies. Charging the belt is easy; just plug the device into an outlet using the USB-C port.
You control feelbelt through the Feelbelt app available on iOS and Android. Here you can adjust the volume and haptics, and access data such as your current battery life. Your headphones are connected to feelbelt through a 3.5mm jack located on the top of the belt. You can also connect wirelessly via Bluetooth, that way you won’t get tangled up in a cable when getting down to Lizzo’s Tempo.
On a more practical level, the hearing impaired could take advantage of the feelbelt’s haptics as a way to experience sounds while watching a movie, or on loud construction sites to deliver haptic patterns like morse code for communication.
It took the Berlin-based company three months to develop their haptic belt. In an official press release, CEO and co-founder Benjamin Heese said, “We developed our unique impulse generator system in house to create a feeling like you’ve never experienced before. It adds an entire new dimension to gaming to enhance performance and experience.”
Feelbelt developed a patented process and a one-of-a-kind software to build out a tool that promises to deliver a new layer of immersion to VR, gaming, movies, and music.
For you fashion-forward folks with a passion for conservation, the ultra-immersive haptic belt comes in both white and black, and for every belt sold Feelbelt will give back to the community by planting a new tree in their region. In 2019, Feelbelt won the Startup-Award awarded by the Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences.
Feelbelt fits humans of all sizes and is compatible on multiple systems. You can pre-order feelbelt now on Kickstarter for 199 Euros / $222 U.S.. The company says they will ship out their haptic belts worldwide.
Image Credit: Feelbelt