When I had the opportunity to demo HTC Vive, I was head over heals in love with the experience. I didn’t want it to end and I am longing to get myself behind those goggles again. Even though I knew I was standing inside a small room carved out of a section of a large trailer I couldn’t help but tune out the rest of the world to live in this alternate reality that HTC Vive had me captivated in.
What if my experience could have felt even more realistic than it already did?
There’s a company called Tactical Haptics that has spent the last couple of years working on an advanced type of haptic feedback for handheld controllers, called the Reactive Grip. Imagine pushing an object and being able to feel the resistance of the item as it moves in the direction you’re pushing it. Or think about the impact when hitting a baseball with a bat and feeling the force of the two objects colliding as it trickle from the tip of the bat down through your hands.
HTC Vive isn’t on the market yet and few, if any, third party manufacturers have had a chance to work on products that would communicate with HTC’s lighthouse system that relays positioning of the Vive’s goggles and controllers. Tacitcal Haptics does have the schematics of the HTC Vive controllers and has managed to develop a 3D printed attachable controller that interacts with the default controller which offers an increased level of haptic feedback while in the virtual space.
There isn’t much info about the Reactive Grip and how it applies to HTC Vive so I hope to be in touch with Tactical Haptics in the near future to learn more about their product and how it will interact with Vive when it eventually comes to the market.
Who makes the Reactive Grip?
As mentioned earlier, Tactical Haptics is the company producing the Reactive Grip. The concept was developed at Provancher’s University of Utah research lab and then Dr. William Provancher started Tactical Haptics to commercialize the product.
Adding more feedback to the HTC Vive controllers sounds like a good idea for improving the user’s experience. Imagine being able to feel the recoil when you pull the trigger of a weapon as the impact flows backward from the barrel to your hand. I’m very excited to try this and compare it to the default Vive experience.
Have you tried HTC Vive yet? How interested would you be if you had a chance to purchase the Reactive Grip? Right now it seams there’s only an attachment to the Vive’s proprietary controllers so it would be nice to find out from the company if they are planning to make a replacement controller all together.
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