Disney Research unveils a haptic return jacket for virtual reality. The “Force Jacket” allows users to feel the sensations of physical contact in the VR and could allow the entertainment giant to create new immersive attractions…
The future of virtual reality will pass through physical sensations. At least that’s what Disney Research seems to think, which has just unveiled a haptic jacket for RV. Called “Force Jacket,” the device simulates physical contact sensations through pneumatically operated airbags.
To put it simply, the jacket has 26 air pockets connected to a machine through tubes. The device inflates and deflates the air pockets precisely at the right time. Thus, combined with a virtual reality experience, the jacket can allow the user to feel the physical sensations that his avatar feels in the game.
As an example, Disney evokes the contact of a snowball. It would also be possible to use such a system to simulate the impact of a punch in a combat game, or a ball in a shooting game. In short, the Jacket Force could add the sensations of touch into virtual reality, increasing the realism of the experiences and therefore the feeling of immersion.
Disney could establish itself as a technology leader in virtual reality.
Disney Research is not the first company to develop a haptic return jacket. However, this pneumatic system seems more ingenious than the electrical stimuli offered by most manufacturers. Moreover, Disney has more financial means than a simple startup to complete its project. So this haptic jacket could be revolutionary for virtual reality.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this accessory will be offered for sale to the general public. Instead, Disney Research explores the possibilities offered by RV for the American company’s amusement parks. As a reminder, Disney has already partnered with The Void to create the Star Wars Secrets of the Empire attraction, offering four players the opportunity to evolve simultaneously in virtual reality and a landscaped space in the real world. This new invention could bring even more breathtaking attractions to life.
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