Even though I am generally promoting a VR experience that involves fewer wearables and not more, here is one gadget I might be tempted into wearing.
The Teslasuit allows you to undergo a wide array of sensations while exploring or gaming (or whatever else) in Virtual Reality.
From the expected bullet hits and punches, it also promises to let you experience wind, water, heat, cold and even something as subtle as a hug or stroke.
Yes, they really do promise that during your next visit to a VR beach, you’ll feel the water at your feet and the wind on your body.
Incorporated within the suit is a mesh of sensors that pick up and translate actions in VR into electric impulses that you’ll experience as pressure.
It is called neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and is generally used for exercise, physical therapy, etc.
You’ve probably seen it done with little patches stuck to the skin.
It comes close to the Haptic Suit we know from the bestseller book ‘Ready player one‘, soon to be made into a Spielberg movie.
Just like with most VR related gadgets and VR itself, it is hard to imagine or understand how well it works and how much an impact it makes until you’ve actually tried it.
So checking out some of the videos that show people wearing and testing the suit is what got me excited.
Have a look at some of them by clicking here.
It is still early days and like many other gadgets being developed for VR these days we know that it is only the beginning and things will continue to get better, cheaper, lighter, etc.
I can imagine a not too distant future where VR haptic suits become even lighter and thinner, much cheaper and will cover your entire body, including your face and hands.
And that they can also be used to send signals to VR, not just receive them and when you close your hand, your avatar will close her hand.
I think that giving us gloves that allow us to actually feel what our avatars are touching or holding, or at least create some sort of sensation when you push a button or open a door, will change a lot of things.
I think the Teslasuit guys are working on those as well, and perhaps next a haptic balaclava so you’ll feel it when I slap you in the face for telling a dirty joke in my virtual bar in 1920s Berlin in Second Life.
When we have the ultimate suit that does everything, we will no longer need to place sensors in our rooms or wave controllers about the place.
And maybe they’ll add heat and cold pads that will be able to actually make you feel colder or warmer.
Maybe one day we can get rid of all our gadgets and wearables and just wear the suit and the headset to do everything.
One suit to rule them all.
The benefits of these suits are obvious; VR experiences become more real, more complete.
In games you actually feel a hit when someone shoots you, when you go sailing you feel the wind and the water, when you are with someone you care about you feel their hand shake, their hug or their hand on your shoulder.
And yes, I am avoiding the obvious, I’m too much of an old fashioned prude to discuss VR hanky panky with you lot.
I’ll leave that to your dirty, dirty imagination 😉
The Kickstarter went live yesterday and they hope it will get developers on board who will start creating experiences for their suit.
Their goal is £250,000 and as I write this the total stands at
Check out their video below and the Kickstarter page by clicking here.
Personally I am very excited about this development, not specifically this suit, because right now I couldn’t even afford one and I think that this technology still has some way to go, but it is more the potential that I love, I can see what this will be used for in the future.
It is the possibilities that are most exciting.
All pictures copyright Tesla Studios & Kickstarter.