The virtual fight becomes a real fight! New gadget gives you ability to sense hits while you’re in a virtual game.

Virtual reality is a trend in gaming world now. And the technologies is going on to make virtual life even more real. But one thing is missing in nowadays virtual gaming: haptic feedback. You can’t feel tactual what’s happening with you in a game. Researches that took place at Hasso Plattner Institute showed that changes are coming. The team of researchers developed a device’s prototype that makes you feel hitting and being hit. It’s possible with a help of tactile and electrical muscle simulation.

The device that’s called Impacto can be worn as a band on the different part of a body: an arm, leg or a foot. Working wirelessly, it connects with VR headset and software. That the wearer can feel a simulated contact, touch virtual objects and sense the hit. To show how Impacto works, scientists decided to select different VR sports games. the Impacto was used for haptic feedback, an Oculus Rift for visuals and a Kinect for tracking. The gadget was worn on a bicep for boxing and a special solenoid was fitted on the back of a hand. Then while football game, Impacto was mounted around the calves to hit a ball.

 Impacto is driven by Arduino Pro Micro, has a Bluetooth module and EMS unit, a solenoid, electrodes and batteries.

“The key idea that allows the small Impacto device to simulate a strong hit is that it decomposes the stimulus. It renders the tactile aspect of being hit by tapping the skin using a solenoid; it adds impulse to the hit by thrusting the user’s arm backwards using electrical muscle stimulation. Both technologies are small enough for wearable use,” the team of Pedro Lopes, Alexandra Ion and Patrick Baudisch explained in their research paper.



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