You can now feel spiders crawling or exploding on your face as scientists have added mouth haptics to a VR headset.
The games industry is feverishly moving towards making gaming more immersive and the latest development comes from Carnegie Mellon University’s Future Interfaces Group. The group of scientists have now added mouth haptics to a VR headset, more specifically to the Meta Quest 2.
Haptics are any kind of technology that produces a tactile or physical response. For example, your phone or controller vibrating is haptic technology. So is your iPhone producing a small vibration as you hold your finger on an app icon to open a menu.
In the video below, shared on Youtube by the scientists, you can see their mouth haptic technology demonstrated. The group shows that the player can feel spider webs brushing on their face as the avatar walks through them or a spider attacking their face. Delightful. Who wouldn’t want that?
The mouth haptics can produce different types of sensations on your lips, which is one of the most sensitive areas so ideal for this purpose. The sensations include the aforementioned swiping sensation as well as pulsations and vibrations, which coupled with the virtual reality actions and environment will create a more physically immersive experience.
This type of technology would specifically benefit horror games as you could feel the blood drip down your face as a werewolf or a demon munches on your hair. Or perhaps you could feel the wind on your face as you run for your life from a vampire.
While there is no evidence of commercial manufacturing of mouth haptics for VR yet, VR seems to be the next stage of not just gaming, but potentially work environments. Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta announced last month that they’re releasing a new VR headset later this year, called Project Cambria, which is aimed for work specifically, potentially replacing laptops and computers in the future.