The creator of Second Life looks to bring realistic haptic feedback to the budding VR platform.
Released back in 2016, VR social platform High Fidelity has spent the last two years duking it out with other VR social platforms in the hopes of becoming the modern day OASIS we’ve all been clamoring for. With Ready Player One out in theaters now, people are especially interested in the haptic feedback and infinite treadmill technology shown in the film, specifically how long they’ll be waiting before they’re able to start grinding on each other in VR dance clubs.
While fans of the film will unfortunately find themselves waiting at least a couple years before getting their hands on VR technology even close to, and at times a little more realistic, than that shown in the film, social VR creators High Fidelity have teamed up with sensory experience developers NeoSensory to bring us one step closer to a slightly more intimate metaverse.
Referred to by High Fidelity as a “virtual skin,” the Exoskin is a haptic jacket capable of simulating the sensation touch while in VR. Composed of 32 sensory motors, the device generates real-time haptic feedback throughout the users upper body, allowing them to feel physical interacting with other users as well as the environment. The device is also directly compatible with High Fidelity’s open source VR platform, which means that a virtual nightclub might be worth taking another look at…
“The promise of VR is in collapsing the distance between people and putting them face-to-face,” spoke Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity. “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.”
NeoSensory is responsible for several other existing haptic solutions, from a wrist-mounted haptic tool for deaf users, to a haptic vest which will be making an appearance in the upcoming second season of HBO’s Westworld. Suffice to say, when it comes to the real-time translation of data into specific vibrations, the company has a solid grasp on what it’s doing.
“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,” states David Eagleman, co-founder of NeoSensory. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with High Fidelity to bring this feedback into VR experiences.”
Preorders for the beta model are available now at $399 via the official website. The device weighs approximately 2 lbs and is available in XS Women’s, XS Men’s, S Women’s, S Men’s, M Women’s, M Men’s, L Women’s, L Men’s, XL Women’s, XL Men’s, XXL Women’s and XXL Men’s.