How do you think violent videogame critics would react to a Tactile Gaming Vest that allows players to physically feel in-game shootings and stabbings?
The vest was created by University of Pennsylvania graduate student Saurabh Palan as part of his course work for a mechanical engineering class called Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environments and Teleoperation.
When hooked up to a game like Half-Life 2, the player is able to feel simulated gunshots, slashing by knives and blood flow from wounds. Feedback, according to Palan’s blog, is generated in the suit by a variety of “solenoids, eccentric-mass motors, and Peltier elements controlled by custom electronics and a personal computer.”
Hits on-screen also register on the appropriate part of the player’s vest and body.
More from Palan:
When the player gets shot in the game, the program will turn on the specific solenoid based on the position of gun shot in the game and also trigger the blood flow simulation process. The gun shot can be felt almost instantly as it occurs in the game.
Originally it was planned for the vest to also feature feedback representing physical attacks, such as punches and kicks, environmental temperatures and even concussive feedback from the impact of artillery, but available time only allotted for the inclusion of gunshots, knife wounds and blood flow. Another abandoned idea was to simulate a bullet’s entry and exit points.
Palan on one new feature that might be added to the vest in the future:
We will mount an array of speakers on to vest, and offer local gun shot sound. Local speaker array will create an interesting sound space around ears, which could be more realistic than the headphone.