Simple is usually most effective, as is being proven by the VR Touch haptic feedback solution reported on by roadtovr’s Ben Lang.
The VR Touch units are simple, 3D printed (for the moment) units that can be attached to individual fingers and have their own IMU control units to determine what amount of force must be applied to each finger to simulate touch along the fingertips.
According to roadtovr’s Ben Lang:
“Demonstrating VR Touch haptics at SVVR 2017 this week, Go Touch VR showed the device in action using an Oculus Rift with attached Leap Motion for hand tracking. They placed three of the VR Touch units across my thumb, index, and middle fingers, secured with a small elastic band with velcro.”
The pressure on each fingertip nicely simulates feedback from different virtual objects using just a piece of plastic that squeezes down on the fingertip with variable force. Depending on what you’re “grabbing” inside the virtual world, the units can simulate holding onto an object, pushing a button, or even just simply touching a surface.
This is in contrast to simple “rumble” from current controllers and VR accessories that simply tell the user that he or she has interacted with something virtually, but conveys no details about the interaction.
The units are not yet market ready – they were demonstrated at the recently concluded Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference and Go Touch, the company behind this concept, is still soliciting support from developers on this page.
Coming right after news of the VRgluv which promises variable force feedback, I have to wonder if the two companies collaborated in some way – maybe not, considering the timing. Yet if two such solutions are coming out so close to each other, it’s a good indication that working (and effective!) solutions is close to availability.
Images credit to roadtovr/Ben Lang