In an era where Black Mirror isn’t just a television series, but also a gauge on whether or not we’ve taken our technological advances past a healthy and sane point, we shouldn’t be surprised at the existence of VR controllers that transfer actual pain to human receptors.
The technology has been around for years, originating with the release of the CyberTouch Glove back in 2000 which retailed for $15,000 and was a mitt that vibrated as you handled virtual objects onscreen.
Fast forward to 2018 and this technology isn’t only cheaper than ever to reproduce and distribute, it’s advanced and here to cause gamers real-world discomfort.
“Any VR engineer aims to make the game indistinguishable from reality,” explains Greg Burdea, a haptics researcher at Rutgers University. “By introducing sensorial overload—sound, sight, touch, even pain—you addict the user.”
For instance, the HaptX Glove offers a pain simulation similar to a gloveless snowball fight, made possible by microfluidic actuators in the glove pressing into your skin to create the sensation of movement, texture, and weightiness, replicating real-world senses of touch and pain.
TEGway ThermoReal are wrapped in a paper-thin thermoelectric semiconductor and can create an actual sensation of being burned. Hardlight’s VR Suit can create the sensation of being kicked in the ribs, so now all those combat games can be taken to new heights.
Lastly, bHaptics Tactal VR Mask has devised a produced that simulated the feeling of being sucker punched. The mask sticks inside of your headset and is fitted with seven vibrating haptic motors that provide the experience.
If you’re into this new tactile form of gamer life then you may just be a bit of a masochist, but obviously, the future is here for you.
This article was originally published by Konbini.