We’re all familiar with that sudden buzzing of a controller. When the action heats up but have we ever wondered what that’s called welcome to the world of haptic technology games can mean a whole lot to us they riches emotionally engages with complex plots exciting action or just mindless fun feeling engaged in the action is getting more and more immersive as technology advances giving our favorite tech. The ability to make sure we truly feel the experience shake of a controller of buzz the tension of the triggers. This may seem a fairly common feature we may barely even registered anymore. It’s all par for the course but it had to start from somewhere when did our machines start to touch is back so a quick catch up for anyone unfamiliar with the term haptic tech haptic technology is the term used to describe machinery or tech that interacts with the user via touch base sensations reactions in communications from machines usually break down into a few categories normally vibration force feedback air vortex rings and ultrasound early forms of this were used in aircraft to warn of dangerous conditions.
The resistance sometimes used on the controls was implemented in excavators and heavy machinery. It was also tested in regards to neuroplasticity in medical treatments so how did this end up in games. The first game noted to include this feature with the arcade cabinet racer known as motocross released by Sega in 1976. The motorbike handles on the cabinet vibrated during an in-game vehicle collision from there the sky was the limit other companies took notice and other racing games eventually implemented similar features and expanded into other sensor reactions including force feedback. The pinball machine earth-shaker also adopted some of these features the rumble motor would announce. At the beginning of the bonus round along with the voice line earth-shaker, these early examples showed how much the century additions could immerse or involve the player in the game experience cementing.
Its role in future consoles and gaming hardware after taking the arcade by storm haptic technology eventually made its way to home consoles and hardware. They started as additions that could be attached to the original controllers in order to add the vibration effects commonly referred to as rumble packs the N64 unveiled. its rumble in 1997 soon followed by the sidewinder force feedback program across soft and the dual shock by Sony. The Sega Dreamcast had 2 options by 1999 both with the Sega jump pack and the performance tremor pack 1 oddity in the nineties with the interactive fest created by or assistance. This force feedback device was created to allow the wearer to feel the impact of a punch or kick in the game through the vibration. This wasn’t the last of the gamer vests and immersive reality though the trend would die down for about a decade with few changes or notable additions 2007 had a resurgence with the force where vast later called the 3 RD space best released by TN games.
The big change with this hardware with the direction ability action that was not within the player’s view would be taken into account blows or attacks from behind would be felt reminding the player to watch their backs. This has worked with over 50 titles many being the ever-popular first-person shooter format 2010 brought us another work being the tactile gamer vast not just kicks and punches anymore. This hardware boasted the ability to simulate gunshots slashing wounds and blow flow sensation body blows environmental impacts and temperature features were also developed allowing even deeper immersion still this may seem a bit overkill for the standard gaming experience. But the Extreme measures of this best are incredibly useful for military training practices replicating an environment rather than just an image in a bus a far cry from a shaking handlebar.
The links we’ve gone to for immersion are incredible and the story doesn’t stop there one of the biggest buzzworthy pun intended news points of recent memory would certainly be the PS 5. The haptic tech involved in the controller is one of the most wasted features but aside from the rumble or shake what does this one do differently the deal since the controller on the PS 5 includes a new shape and houses voice coil actuators instead of the previous motors or wait the feedback devices used the same tactics speakers do to create the vibration. This upgrade makes the vibrations more precise stopping and starting with a moment’s notice but the features on this controller move further than the standard rumble trigger haptics are included to further the experience previous spring-based systems and triggers created some tension but it was uniform all around now each trigger can feel unique a pistol again something deadlier like a grenade launcher more than just firearms think of the pedal of a car.
The resistance of a paved road against grass or mud. It’s something we don’t think about actively most of the time but it’s still part of the overall human experience an article by wired notes that bowstring tension could be experienced through the new trigger features compared to the easy toss of a bowling ball on the old Wii sports unit these measures make the situation all the more real controllers can only do so much in terms of full immersion. This is where VR steps in to take the lead nothing says immersion like virtual reality and interacting with 3-dimensional space there are no outside distractions are discarded soda cans to pull you out of it and though there is much less sitting and relaxing. You can’t say it’s not incredibly surreal now we’ve covered vibrations intention triggers but beyond that lies an even larger realm of possibility some companies have done away with the controller altogether how is this possible well in a couple of ways to feel.
The sensations without an object in hand something else has to provide the environmental reaction one method. Which has been worked on by a few companies including Microsoft is with air vortex rings jets of air emitted by the speakers that did not lose their shape or precision like a normal person affair would allowing for interaction without any controllers needed. This is meant to allow users to interact with the tech at a distance even more precise than the air vortex ultrasound waves are also a new tool in the world of haptic tech companies like cultural leap have created speakers that can be arranged to create a form of interactive space tracking hand motion and creating different sensations midair no controller necessary and while we are in the space age yeah there’s a world of possibilities yet to come maybe holding something in your hand isn’t your speed.
But you already strapped on the headset so water a few more wearables today’s industry has you covered those gaming vests have only gotten more advanced baton using more and more different forms of vibrations to mimic an environmental reality for more than just video games. These best can be compatible with movies as well some are marketed towards DJs and performers to provide more immersion into their music haptic tech shoes or even coming on to market intending to get the feel of moving into BR space even more letters in the R can already be deceiving now you may even be able to feel the bars as you climb haptic isn’t just reserved for the video game industry in terms of entertainment movies have been using their 40 formats in recent years movement of seeking puffs of air in order to create a sensation that matches.
The screen in front with the addition of a fairly cushy chair course. This feature is a draw out of the bigger theaters as a whole movie experience is incredibly common with platforms like Netflix and Disney plus giving us endless content with additional new releases. These tactile experiences in the theater are giving him the edge over the living room couch the times are still changing now as the multi-level experience is finding its way into our homes. The smart house of today with systems like Google home can react to many things around us without the press of a button additional speakers and brakes are getting more and more compact. but the already digital houses the control panel is already present with adjustments to external devices reacting to the film not far fetched at all with haptic feedback and temperature controls the power is in our hands the atmosphere tech is there ready to step from our movies into our games in VR worlds entertainment aside.
The tactile abilities of haptic tech have been introduced in many different technologies for a more interactive or precise experience medical tech used by both doctors and patients are being improved with haptic technology surgery simulation can be done to a higher degree of realism giving an overall improved education simulation for astronauts and pilots are also enhanced thoroughly as the physical sensations of the changing altitudes and gravity is something that should be prepared for now. It can be simulated drivers can be notified of possible dangers through vibration in the seat or feel the touch screen respond with a bus without drawing their attention off the road haptic tech is more than just for gaming. But it certainly is fun the future is truly now well this is amazing. I’m still waiting on the back jokes aside I’m not joking where my Max the future of gaming and interactive technology is bright and I can’t wait to see what comes next to let us know.