Getting Punched In Virtual Reality Will Soon Feel Real

Getting Punched In Virtual Reality Will Soon Feel Real” by Chelsea Scherer.

Virtual reality gaming is an increasing market with breakthroughs happening every day. When we think virtual reality, we imagine being fully immersed in another reality. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to bring the tactile sense into this reality with us. Impacto aims to change this. Impaco is an armband that re-creates the experience of actually being punched — without the pain. Combining haptic feedback — taps and vibrations on your skin — with electrical muscle stimulation, the armband simulates the effects of impact force by thrusting the user’s arm in a direction that’s convincing.

The research team demonstrated the technology using Impacto to play a virtual reality boxing game in which the user blocks punches from an opponent while feeling the sensations of actually defending themselves in a fight. The armband can also be used to play soccer games by strapping it to your ankle to feel the sensation of making a pass or bouncing a soccer ball off your foot in virtual reality.

Virtual reality accessories have a tendency to be bulky, uncomfortable contraptions that are often a hassle to wear. That’s why researchers at the Human-Computer Interaction lab (HCI) at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany created a prototype that’s less-invasive and relatively comfortable to wear.

I think this is an excellent article to demonstrate the progress and use of HCC/HCI. Not only are the researches miniaturizing the designs to make virtual reality more comfortable for the user, but by communicating with users, they were able to understand and move towards creating a more immersive design for the user.