VR has been great in giving users a more real-life experience than any other media people interact with. A more authentic feel has been felt by users as they play favourite games VR environment. Still, the current generation of VR systems, the likes of PSVR and Oculus Rift come with only haptic controllers for your hands into the VR. This in a way limits the haptics experience to just your hands. You only get a feedback in your hands when you hit objects in a game and that signals to your brain how close to reality the experience is.
As we advance in haptics, however, the interaction with VR will be expanded. There will be more delving into the haptics world within VR which will relatively boost VR fitness. A simple explanation of haptics by Merriam-Webster is that relating to or based on the sense of touch.
When you think of haptics in VR, then a haptic device can be anything that tracks a part of your body inside VR while giving you force feedback. Take for instance a haptic controller that tracks your shoulders. This can assist you to slip punches more accurately in a boxing game such as The Thrill of the Fight. You could also feel the wrapping of a friend’s arm around you created by a social environment like BigScreen.
With such a VR accessory, you would feel something through the buzz on your shoulders which will be involved the VR. Users who have interacted with VR alongside haptic controllers have had an experience with other humans in the VR world which had been very close. It is certainly fantastic to shake another person’s hand in Rec Room or feel the resistance of a bowstring as you nock in it an arrow to aim.
What users should understand is that the more places your body is linked to a VR game – which is possible through the use of Haptics, the more presence you experience and the more you’ll be there subjectively. While VR promises to become more and more immersive, even to unexpected levels, the advancement in Haptics could mean a lot in VR fitness. The haptic feedback, being the cause of the presentation will certainly take the immersive capability of VR to another level.
Currently, Haptics devices come in gloves and suits. Some of the firms who are key players in this market have their products mentioned below. Haptics gloves to keep an eye on inclusion HaptX by Jake Rubin and Dr Robert Crockett the former Cal Poly researchers. These utilise tiny pockets of air to simulate everything from the textile feel of objects to the shape of the objects.
HaptX has a very “real” experience and aims to be used for job training in dangerous fields like law enforcement, military, and medical. A less ambitious haptic glove is the Plexus by Plexus Immersive Corps. For the suits, there is the Tesla Suit. most VR enthusiasts are familiar with this machine-washable smart fabric that the user can cover their whole bodies.
The suit has been known of offering a real feeling including “insane” features like alter the temperature or shock the skin. You can even feel a recoil after shooting a gun or feel the resistance when you collide with a hard object in a game. You can also explore the bHaptics which is a haptic vest similar to Hardlight but for the upper body.
If the VR could advance more in Haptics, especially full body Haptics, users can achieve more fitness benefits. As they respond to the more direct resistance from VR games provided by Haptics, they will probably spend more time in VR and at the same time boost VR fitness.