Virtual Reality: This haptic shirt pushes the pain threshold
A T-shirt is supposed to simulate free fall, gunshot wounds, and tenderness in VR. How much haptics fits into a spandex shirt?
The start-up OWO wants to transport tactile stimuli comfortably and wirelessly from the VR game to the players via haptic VR. According to the manufacturer, the flexible shirt offers a whole range of sensations that you would actually rather not be exposed to.
Haptic shirt simulates insect bites, knife wounds, and exit wounds
On the list are things like insect bites, knife wounds, punches, and gunshot wounds. For the latter, you’re even supposed to feel when the bullet leaves the body again and blood comes out. Creepy.
A companion app lets you control the intensity of each simulated feeling separately. If you’d rather not feel an exit wound, you can also selectively turn off individual sensations.
But it doesn’t always have to hurt. The vest also delivers painless immersion, letting you feel free-fall, high speeds, or weightlifting in virtual reality. OWO Game also offers something for pleasant feelings: if a loved one hugs you in the Metaverse, for example, you will also feel this with the sensitive top.
OWO: An infinite number of simulated sensations possible
In total, the electrodes are supposed to be able to transmit more than thirty simulated sensations in real-time to ten different body regions. According to OWO, the algorithms used are capable of simulating an infinite number of different sensations.
The haptic shirt is made of Lycra – an elastane made from polyethylene glycol and polyurethane – breathable fabric and elastic cables, and is meant to adapt to every body shape and movement. It connects wirelessly to devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
OWO Game supports mobile gaming, PC, and console gaming in addition to VR gaming and has been nominated for an Innovation Award at this year’s CES 2022 electronics trade show. There’s no word on when the vest will hit the market.