After years of testing, research, prototyping and manufacturing, Nullspace VR are proud to announce the upcoming launch of the Hardlight Suit, After years of testing, research, prototyping and manufacturing, Nullspace VR are proud to announce the upcoming launch of the Hardlight Suit, the first fully-immersive haptic feedback suit for virtual reality. With 16 individually controlled haptic feedback zones, the Hardlight Suit allows users to feel a wide range of interaction with their virtual environment. From the sharp impact of a bullet or sword, to the enveloping rumble of an earthquake, to the intricately gentle patter of rainfall, The Hardlight Suit lets its users make VR a little less virtual and a lot more real. With 16 individually controlled haptic feedback zones, the Hardlight Suit allows users to feel a wide range of interaction with their virtual environment. From the sharp impact of a bullet or sword, to the enveloping rumble of an earthquake, to the intricately gentle patter of rainfall, The Hardlight Suit lets its users make VR a little less virtual and a lot more real.
“Presence in VR is a huge concern, obviously, so we not only wanted to introduce haptics—the sense of touch feedback—to add to the immersion, but we’ve also added tracking to the suit, so a player can actually see an avatar in-game, rather than a set of floating hands,” said Nullspace VR’s Founder and CEO Morgan Sinko. “The whole point of VR in gaming is to make the experience more immersive and interactive, and Hardlight does exactly that.”
Born from a fundamental frustration with the lack of haptic interaction in gaming, Hardlight was initially conceived by Sinko, COO Lucian Copeland, and CTO Jordan Brooks while students and members of the University of Rochester’s Robotics Club.
“I was playing a motion-controlled game with my brother one day, and we were both having trouble interacting with the game the way we thought a player should be able to. Not being able to physically feel a connection to the game was really hindering not only our performances, but our enjoyment,” said Sinko. “That got me thinking about how much room there was to incorporate haptics in gaming and in VR, and that’s where this all started.”
The three friends took their dream of a haptics-fueled gaming revolution and founded Nullspace VR, securing a Y Combinator Fellowship and pulling up stakes to seek their destiny in the tech hub of Seattle.
“Over the years and iterations, we’ve been working really closely with a lot of VR game developers. We wanted to make sure that the suit was up to industry standards and that it wouldn’t be a headache for developers to incorporate into their games,” said Brooks. “Plus, those relationships and feedback have allowed us to promise full Hardlight compatibility with ten to fifteen VR titles at launch, with more constantly being added. After all, what good is a peripheral if you can’t do anything with it? To that end, we’re collaborating with as many of the most exciting and innovative VR developers as we can and have a huge slate of really great Hardlight-ready games to announce during the launch.”
“One of the developers we’ve been most excited about partnering with has been Bad Bird Studios,” said Sinko. “We’re huge fans of their game Battle Dome and we’re thrilled that they’ve come onboard and will be making it Hardlight compatible.”
“While it’s been great to see VR devs enjoying the suit, we’ve really been wanting to open the platform up to the consumer,” said Sinko. “We’ve always envisioned the Hardlight Suit being in people’s homes, and we’re so excited to make that a reality. When it came time to figure out the best way to do that, a Kickstarter campaign made the most sense.”
Starting on February 23rd, Nullspace will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the very first run of Hardlight Suits for consumers.
“We considered a lot of options, but ultimately Kickstarter was what we kept coming back to,” said Copeland. “The design, manufacturing, and logistics are all in place, so we really wanted to prioritize a medium that would allow us to interact directly with the community. Being able to hear directly from fans and users is so crucial to what we do that we couldn’t think of a better way to introduce Hardlight to the world.”
More details, including tech specs, developer partnerships, and more will be released in the coming weeks leading up to the Kickstarter’s launch, so those interested are encouraged to visit HardlightVR.com