How To Get Touched In VR?

Lora Garcia16 Mar 2022

Virtual reality may seem real in many ways, but it falls short of fully immersing us due to technical limitations. If you can't feel it in your hand, how are you supposed to understand what it's like? A sense of touch is one of them. You can pick up an item in VR, but you won't be able to feel it with your actual hands. Unless you're putting on a unique glove that may make you feel something, it's unlikely. This prototype glove developed by Cornell University scientists works like a soft skin sensor that tracks finger motions and gives the sensation of touching something. A transparent polyurethane core and an LED-linked core filled with absorbent dyes make up each stretchable light guide. The sensors in the gloves respond to your movements, lighting up and registering them, which may signal the glove to provide feedback to those places where your fingers believe they're making contact with something.  A new, more lightweight virtual reality device has been created that allows customers to interact with products in stores and museums without ever stepping foot in real life. The horizons of virtual reality (VR) have been expanded in the previous five years. The popularity of virtual reality headsets has exploded in recent years, with the advent of affordable mobile devices like Google Cardboard and new platforms like Steam VR. These technological breakthroughs have resulted in many creative works that allow us to step into different worlds when we cannot interact with other people. The capacity to visit incredible places, real or not, is on the verge of becoming a cost-effective alternative for many. What you see and hear in virtual reality these days is nearly as good as if you were there. Nevertheless, the encounters have prevented us from engaging with our immediate surroundings until recently.

"The fundamental components of virtual reality systems, such as walls, furniture, and virtual characters, are necessary for immersive virtual environments to be created," says Chris Harrison of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Making contact with a virtual world

A new device that employs ‘haptic feedback,' a technology that creates the illusion of touch to make the virtual seem more real, has been developed by a team at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, US. Other technologies use a complicated mechanical solution to provide touch when other devices need a sequence of pricey, power-consuming motors. CMU's invention uses a less complex mechanical approach. The user's shoulder is connected to a shoulder-mounted system that applies resistance according to the user’s feeling. The hand is held in place by a spring-loaded mechanism and an electric latch, which prevents it from moving further as it makes contact with heavy things in the digital realm. According to a study conducted throughout the development process, this technique is more accurate than other haptic technologies and less expensive and lighter than comparable technologies. It will cost between 50 and 75 euros, according to the company.

"I believe that the experience is unique, such as when you can wrap your fingers around a railing and interact with it," adds Cathy Fang, one of the study's co-authors. “It’s also pleasant to feel the texture of uneven objects, such as a statue, for example. " For example, a system that could recognize and interpret physical objects like museum visits or purchasing furniture at a store may be used for experiences that include interacting with real items, according to Dr. Cole.

Taking the environment into one's own hands

Virtual reality has been recognized as a viable teaching tool for climate change education. According to research, virtual experiences may have a psychological impact since people interpret them as though they were one experiment; participants were shown four photographs of water damage. The images showed varying degrees of deterioration or cleanliness, and the participants were asked to identify which ones represented the worst outcomes for people and property affected by climate change. One study from 2018 in the United States proved that virtual reality might effectively illustrate people with severe environmental impacts. Instead of traveling somewhere to make matters worse, virtual experiences may offer a comparable educational experience without the need for travel.

To disseminate information about climate change, innovative solutions are required.

Advantages 

It allows individuals to feel more personally involved in the challenges facing our planet by providing them with an opportunity to learn through “doing and being.” While haptics has yet to be proven to improve the learning experience gained from VR, a cheaper and more accessible system may open new possibilities for museums and organizations to connect with the public. Imagine being able to feel the chill of winter or the heat of a hot cup of coffee in your hand while exploring an online world. Thanks to this technology, you may be able to replicate such an encounter shortly. You'll even be able to feel the touch of a hand grasping yours through a message chat or the impact of a punch in a fighting game. A device that allows people to feel touch in the realm of virtual reality has been created by scientists. A new wearable device that uses skin-integrated wireless haptic technology to create virtual and augmented reality experiences is on the market. It includes a lightweight, soft sheet of electronics that adhere to the body and is referred to as a "skin-integrated wireless haptic interface for virtual and augmented reality. “It creates the sensation of touch by sending vibrations, pressure, and motion across your skin. Their study was published in Nature magazine. This new method has the potential to revolutionize prosthetics and video games. It can enhance the lives of amputees and take gaming to new heights. The technology is useful in a variety of settings. The brain can form a physical touch sensation from an outside source with this method. Someone wearing a prosthetic limb may feel the shape of whatever they are grasping. Someone may gently touch you on the cheek via social media if you're lucky. Wind may sweep across the skin during a high-speed chase on a motorbike.

Lora Garcia

Lora Garcia

Hi There! I am Lora Garcia, the founder of VRLitic. I received the original oculus dev kit as a gift many years ago, and that kicked off my passion for XR tech. VRLitic was created to share that passion, so I hope you enjoy my content.

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