Disney, the company that has captured the imagination of millions across generations because of their cartoons and characters, intends to bring immersion to a new level instead of relying on just sound and vision. This has resulted in Surround Haptics – a kind of tactile technology which relies on a low-resolution grid of vibrating actuators in order to generate high-resolution, continuous, moving tactile strokes across your skin. This system is touted to deliver smooth, continuous tactile motion, somewhat equivalent to the feeling of another person dragging his/her finger across your skin. Sounds creepy?
There was a demonstration which was held in conjunction with a collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University and other parties, where said technology was used to bring your average driving simulator experience to a whole new level. Developed by Disney’s Black Rock Studio, the chair has been outfitted with inexpensive vibrating actuators that will let you feel road imperfections as well as experience objects falling on the car, while handling ripples of sensation when cars collide or jump and land with aplomb.
It would be interesting to see how the home video game console will view such technology – it might take some time before the man on the street warms up to such an idea, but I believe arcades might see such machines sooner rather than later.
Sounds a bit like the Tactile Brush, also from Disney, which we looked at in May.