Virtual reality (VR) has been inching closer to reality on the back of higher-resolution screens and innovations in body tracking. However, the aspect keeping it afar is capabilities for physical feedback aside from thundering controllers.
CES 2021 oversaw a Korean company called bHaptics unveil a wireless haptic vest that could help VR come even more closer to reality.
Called the TactSuit, the company launched two variants of the product, TactSuit X16 and TactSuit X40. While the former is priced at $299 and offers sixteen different vibration points, the latter costs $499 and comes with forty vibration points. Interestingly, it is compatible with over 50 existing titles on SteamVR and Quest.
The users would be able to ‘feel’ feedback through the suit while listening to music, watching movies, or playing a game. This has been made possible by an ‘audio-to-haptic’ software developed by the company. However, the intensity of this feedback is still unknown.
The good news is that you can lay your hands on one of these as soon as February 8 this year. However, the entire package will cut a deeper hole in your pocket as the face cushions will cost you another $149, the arm sleeves another $249, and hand and feet devices for $250 each on top of that.
bHaptics is not the only company to drop in on the scene. Another similar innovator, Cybershoes, offers shoes featuring trackballs on them to further immerse gamers into the VR environment. The device enables the user to stroll around within the game while remaining comfortably seated on a fixed chair.
Apart from Facebook’s constant investment into the technology, VR has scrambled to find mass adoption. Nevertheless, Facebook continues to innovate with the technology in a bid to realise CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of giving a billion people access to VR headsets someday with useful applications across industries.
Every such innovation like the TactSuit or Cybershoes inches us closer to understanding and using the full potential of VR not just for gaming, but various social and even enterprise applications.
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