For part of his course work for a mechanical engineering class called ‘Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environments and Teleoperation’ University of Pennsylvania graduate student Saurabh Palan has created a ‘Tactile Vest’ for gamers. We have seen such vest before and some are commercially available but this one is different. As well as creating impacts to simulate being shot this gaming vest gives allows the player ‘to feel simulated gunshots, slashing by knives and blood flow from wounds.’
This rather extreme feedback is created using ‘solenoids, eccentric-mass motors, and Peltier elements controlled by custom electronics and a personal computer.’ Palan had to cut back his design as it originally featured ‘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.
Frankly it all sounds a little bit too real for me; I think he may have forgotten games are meant to be fun and fantasy. You don’t really want to hiding in a bush in Modern Warfare 2 only to feel a knife plunging in to your chest and the warm wet trickle of your bloody seeping out.. do you?