Most people will readily agree haptic feedback will provide better VR experiences. So far, that has not been an overly successful venture yet. None of the products coming to market check all of the right boxes, indicating how difficult it is to provide haptic feedback. bHaptics, a company working on the TactSuit, seems to be on the right track. For now, it is only available to HTC Vive users, but it shows a lot of promise.
Another Player Enters the Haptic Feedback Race
Looking at the current list of available haptic feedback solutions, there are two glaring platforms. First of all, most of these products are very expensive compared to what users get in return. Moreover, very few products are available for purchase as of right now. A proof of concept is great, but it leaves consumers wanting more, which is not always a good idea. bHaptics wants to shake up the industry quite a bit thanks to their TactSuit product.
More specifically, this new wireless kit combines a haptic mask with sleeves and a haptic vest. It is quite, a complete package, which also means the price tag will be rather steep. In this particular case, the full price remains unknown, but it could be very well below $500. Granted, VR is an expensive investment without the accessories, but a haptic feedback kit can be quite useful regardless. Especially when considering there is a total of 87 different feedback points.
Having a high amount of feedback points will certainly create a more immersive VR experience. The feedback points are spread out evenly on the front and the back of the vest, as well as both sleeves. The final seven points can be found on the mask itself. With so much technology at one’s disposal, it will be up to game and app developers to take full advantage of what the TactSuit has to offer. The possibilities for this technology are virtually limitless. We can only hope to see them implemented as such.
Products such as these will only be successful if they meet certain conditions. First of all, it can’t be too heavy, nor can the fabric chafe the skin when sweating. It appears one can’t use the haptic mask while wearing glasses, which is a bit of a drawback. It is a very promising product at this stage, and it has a proven track record of thorough testing by thousands of users. The bigger question is whether or not it will be made available to consumers or not. Right now, that does not appear to be the case.
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Image Source: Engadget