ViviTouch is a kind of 'artificial muscle' that seeks to make video games feel more real. The technology behind it is electroactive polymers, developed by Bayer subsidiary Artificial Muscle of Sunnyvale, right up the road from me.
It's basically a new sort of motor that converts electrical energy into movement, to go beyond the traditional haptic interface people expect by now. Motor? Well, that is the CEO's terms. It's an actuator made of a thin polymer film but electroactive polymers are cooler than traditional actuators, generators and sensors because a ViviTouch-enabled device lets you 'feel' explosions, flying and even uppercuts like you were meant to, they say. So if you like getting an uppercut, this is for you.
In a controller or headphones, the polymer contracts and expands based on the sounds and people can better feel what is happening.
The technology was invented in 2001 by SRI and they spun it out in 2004. Four years later they had the first haptic actuator prototype. It can deliver 75 Hz pulses, for example, so gamers get unique sensations based on what’s occurring in their game, but with more true feel than the 'rumble' in joysticks of today.
Why is it cool? We have enjoyed really improved graphics and sound (and story, if you played "Mass Effect" or "Uncharted") but feel has been missing. That is why I only bought "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" yesterday. It's 3 years old but not much has changed so I was in no rush. But if I could really feel bullets tearing into my spleen? Maybe I would get more excited about the new games.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Why I’ll Talk Policy With Climate Change Deniers But Not Science
- Today's Global Warming Is Nothing Special
- There Was No 'Paleo Diet' - Ancient People Ate What They Had
- Worldwide, Life Expectancy Has Gone Up Over 6 Years Since 1990
- Curiosity Detects Spike In Methane, And Other Organic Molecules, On Mars
- HIP 116454b Shows That Despite Malfunction, Kepler Can Still Find Planets
- Time To Stop Thinking Of Video Games As Just 'Software'
- "Solution aversion is very real. Talking about solutions which the climate skeptics could live with..."
- "For the avoidance of doubt, as judges are wont to say, it was Buckminster Fuller himself who first..."
- "Thank you for including the Four Myths of Nature. It is very helpful to keep these in mind when..."
- "No, I was meaning the ArcticIndex of /arctic/rediscover/dmi_sea_ice_maps http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/050/mwr..."
- "The big problem they have now in making their statements is credibility - while they can claim..."
- High socioeconomic status increases discrimination, depression risk in black young adults
- Research shows E.B. White was right in Charlotte's Web
- Ability to balance on 1 leg may reflect brain health and stroke risk
- Local enforcement of federal immigration laws affects immigrant Hispanics' healthcare
- Study on world's biggest animal finds more than 1 population in the southeastern Pacific