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Haptic retargeting enables convincing touch control in the virtual world

By Shawn Knight
May 5, 2016
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  1. One of the many keys to making virtual reality believable is being able to bring the sense of touch into the virtual world. Adding additional senses into the mix is a trick that’s been used by consumer electronics makers for years but in the virtual world, how exactly do you go about that?

    Using a prop like a gun controller would work in shooters but what about titles that require the manipulation of multiple items? You can’t just load your desk up with all sorts of objects; aside from the clutter, it’d put serious strain on your computer just to track everything.

    Researchers from Microsoft, USC, and the University of Waterloo have developed a couple of clever techniques – body warping and world warping – that essentially trick your brain into believing a single object is actually multiple objects or that they're in a different location. The two illusions, both of which require help from a Kinect camera, can be combined to create what’s called hybrid warping.

    It sounds a bit complicated but the video above does a great job of explaining what’s happening.

    These techniques could really make playing a game like Minecraft in virtual reality far more immersive although I’m not sure how they would translate to other games or experiences.

    Microsoft plans to publish a paper on the matter – Haptic Retargeting: Dynamic Repurposing of Passive Haptics for Enhanced Virtual Reality Experiences – at the CHI 2016 conference that runs from May 7 through the 12th in San Jose.

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  2. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 956   +273

    Pretty neat... now grab one of the cubes with each hand!

    Seriously though it is cool, very limited applications though.
     
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,663   +775

    THis will be great when doling out the allowance to the kids ..... I/ll save 2/3rds right off the bat!
     

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