Sliding plates and a cylindrical form-factor offer a more engaging haptic experience.
VR/AR haptic feedback specialists Tactical Haptics this week revealed a new addition to its lineup of haptic controllers designed specifically for VR sword fighting, fishing, and tool training.
Called the SaberGrip, this new cylindrical form-factor controller features tracking support for Oculus, SteamVR, Vicon, and OptiTrack. Instead of relying on simple vibrating haptics used in existing motion controllers, such as the Oculus Touch or Vive Controller, the SaberGrip uses the same haptic actuation drivetrain incorporated in past Tactical Haptic accessories to power a series of moving slide plates.
The 3D-printed prototype features support for both the Oculus Touch controller as well as the Vive Tracker. To better showcase the haptic capabilities of the accessory, the company has included a VR sword fighting demo in which a single player can be seen battling a sword-wielding robot using the SaberGrip.
Every stab, block, and deflection of the sword triggers the moving plates, delivering a genuine sense of impact more powerful than that offered by simpler vibrating haptics. In the future the team hopes to introduce multiplayer support to the sword fighting demo, the end goal being an official eSports/tournament system.
The company also teased a VR fishing demo in which the SaberGrip is used as a conventional fishing rod, offering the player a sense of resistance while reeling in stubborn fish. According to Tactical Haptics, this simplified cylindrical design was developed in direct response to the feedback received from numerous VR arcade providers.
In addition to the one-handed SaberGrip, Tactical Haptics has developed a similar two-handed model based on the combined feedback of users interested in using the device for in racket, bat, and golfing-based experiences. Of course, this two-handed model could be used for one-handed experiences as well.
Tactical Haptics wraps up their update with the reveal of official Oculus Touch support for their Multi-Pose magnetic design, a two-piece haptic solution that allows users to assemble different game peripherals “on-the-fly.”
According to Tactical Haptics, SaberGrip is still very much in the prototype stage. No word yet on an official commercial release.
Image Credit: Tactical Haptics