The Surround Haptics technology is integrated with a wide variety of entertainment and media contents, such that the contents are not only seen and heard but also felt, simultaneously. The tactile contents are carefully created and synchronized with visual and auditory cues to create effective and immersive experiences and increase the interest of users while playing video games, watching movies, etc. The technology is integrated into theater seats, gaming chairs and vests, rides, gloves, shoes, hand-held devices and controllers, clothes, to create another dimension of sensory feedback. For example, while playing an intense driving simulation game, users feel road conditions, gravel, traction, acceleration, brake, explosions, collisions, etc.
Surround Haptics is a new tactile technology that uses a low-resolution grid of inexpensive vibrating actuators to generate high-resolution, continuous, moving tactile strokes on human skin. The user would feel smooth tactile motion, akin to what we feel when someone drags a finger across our skin rather than discrete tactile pulses and buzzes that are so common today.
According to a press release about the demonstrations, researchers think the concept could even be expanded beyond computer games, movies and attraction rides. It might one day help blind people better communicate, they say, and it could aid athletes and even emergency workers.
As Poupyrev says, “The possibilities are endless.”
For more info see the project here Surround Haptics: Tactile Feedback for Immersive Gaming Experiences
Source: Disney Research