Haptic technology is gaining momentum thanks to its application in various virtual reality solutions. It enhances the feeling of total immersion by providing the sense of touch, to what was previously only visual and audio experience. Experiments with haptic feedback concentrated mostly on developing such devices as haptic VR gloves or exoskeleton, elbow harnesses. Disney Research has taken the VR experience to a whole new level.
Disney Research developers have been working on a 360-degree virtual reality app, called VR360HD, that lets the users feel full body sensations like rainfall or a beating heart. They think that the current solutions that provide gamers with haptic feedback by means of hand controllers such as gloves, are not enough and there is still plenty of room for improvement. Thanks to those effects the feeling of total immersion will definitely be more convincing and engaging. The haptic effects available thanks to the app, will be adjustable, so that the users are able to distinguish between a light drizzle and a torrential rain.
The developers tested the app with a VR headset and a special haptic chair equipped with 6 vibrotactile actuators in the back and 2 subwoofers placed in its seat. The sensors are supposed to imitate the sensation of motion.