HaptX has unveiled the latest version of their haptics force feedback gloves at CES 2021.
I’ve been keeping an eye on this company for years now, as their approach seems the most comprehensive for moving forward with full immersion VR.
They’re not content with simple gimmicks like hand tracking for immersion. They’re going the full distance by using gloves, which I think is the obvious path forward for full immersion.
They also include force feedback on individual fingers. This gives the impression of actually touching items in virtual reality (instead of your digits passing through objects since, y’know, those objects aren’t really there).
In addition, their gloves feature pressure dimples to simulate textures and methods to mimic temperature changes.
The video below gives a glimpse into what they have on offer. Obviously this is Enterprise level tech. It isn’t something intended for the consumer market.
One thing I would love to see them add is an exoskeleton that provides force feedback on the arms overall. Maybe some sort of band extending from the backpack to each elbow and glove. Because currently, the user could easily push their hand through the hull of the plane they’re touching.
So what does this mean for the future of VR? It’s still a ways off, but imagine this sort of force feedback refined. What if force feedback bands accompanied all of your joints? Hopefully in a much more compact and less scary form than this early model.
Not only might your fingers receive force feedback, but also your elbows, shoulders, legs, etc. Basically an exoskeleton that would limit your movement when your body encounters an object in game.
If they attached this to some sort of perpetual locomotion rig, full immersion would be so close. You could walk around in a virtual world forever, while also interacting with it in exactly the same way you do in real life.
That’s my dream, and the basis of my novel, currently with the working title Aether Shard.
Some might call this dangerous escapism. And sure, I get that. People get addicted to video games now. Imagine what might be possible when all the technologies described here are more advanced.
What happens when you can step onto a “Portal Rig” and believe you are in another world with different rules? Magical rules.
I however see this as a great way to get people re-engaged with life. What better way to keep fit than to run around in a virtual fantasy world where exercise isn’t a chore but unbelievably fun?
What do you think?
How long do you think a consumer version of what I’m describing here might be viable? And would you want to try it out?
I think you know my answer 😉