Obviously, the next logical step from VR is either the Matrix or holodeck but that's not going to happen unless you can actually feel anything. That's were Hasso Plattner Institute's Impacto (opens in new tab) system comes in. Part research project, part torture machine it uses solenoids and electric shocks to simulate the effect of in-game impacts in the real world.
Okay, it doesn't look like a great deal of fun, or even legal in some states and that 50s supervillian name isn't helping anyone, but all cool ideas start looking like crap. Tech progress is nearly always make something along the lines of this:
1. Make something that works but that's big and clunky.
2. Everyone laughs.
3. Make it small, sleek and a bit iPhoney.
4. Everyone wants one and pretends they definitely didn't take the piss first time round.
That is the unwritten rule of tech and it wouldn't take much to miniaturise all this lot below and fit it into some kind of suit or jacket:
So far it only works with Unity and the Institute is testing the system with some very crude sports games, namely boxing, football and baseball, which looks like this:
Laugh all you want but even as we speak some peripheral company out there is making phone calls with dollar signs in its eyes.
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