UnlimitedHand is a haptic sensor that wraps around the forearm and generates sensations while you interact with a virtual world. Some of the actions you can perform include touch, feel, pet, hold, grab, punch, pull, and push. You can also manipulate items in the virtual world. The armband stimulates your muscles with multi-channel electronic muscle stimulators. This leads to physical control of the fingers and hands. The device can be integrated into existing games with Unity plug-ins and with its compatibility with Arduino, it’s hackable on any platform, according to Gizmodo.
UnlimitedHand is currently raising funds on KickStarter. It has 161 backers that contributed $32,702. If you pledge at least $188, you will get one UnlimitedHand device, along with a membership sticker, development ID, Unity plug-in with samples, and Arduino IDE with processing starter library.
The combination of motion and muscle sensors and feedback allows gamers to interact with the virtual world in a whole new way. Now, the actions taken in the game have physical effects that are felt in the real world. Gamers will have to make wiser choices or face painful consequences. But hopefully, not too painful. It sounds like a realistic approach to gaming that, if implemented correctly will improve the overall gaming experience.
Senarios where positive feedback create a friendly sensation, such as shaking hands or hugging in a haunted house, would be a cool feature in future games. Arriving at a safe house or hotel may feel a bit more realistic if the feedback imparts a relaxing, refreshing environment. Also, intimate situations in gaming would get a whole lot more uncomfortable with the right feedback.
The PlayStation Dualshock controller is one of the last generation controllers with touch feedback. It features one analogue rumble motor that vibrates the controller during certain situations in a game. Usually, it vibrates during explosions or when vehicles drive by the character. The controller also had a small digital motor. The XBox 360 controller and Nintendo Wii controller also feature vibration feedback. All current generation platforms, including the PlayStation 4 and XBox One feature vibration feedback. The new DualShock 4 features two analogue rumble motors, instead of one, according to PushSquare. The extra motor impart subtle motions.