What I’ve Got: The Hardlight VR Haptic Suit

This is one of the newer haptic suits for VR that I’ve seen, and one of the best designed. Haptics refer to touch, and are an area of active R&D in VR — since VR by itself is already so realistic, adding haptics as simple as location-accurate vibrations can put simple experiences over the top and truly make you feel like you’re in the center of the action. So far few suits have gotten traction, but the Hardlight seems promising for a few reasons. 1) it appears to do a good job balancing wearability (fairly adjustable and easy to put on) and utility (the 16 individually activated haptic pads allow for pretty precise touch feedback. It will also enhance the visual experience by allowing the wearer to see her whole body in VR, rather than just her hands. 

From a development perspective the Hardlight suit also seems well designed — by providing a library of standard haptic effects it looks easy to develop for, which is important considering that VR is still in its infancy and whatever wins the haptics war will be chosen by developers as much as the users.

Finally, the production-value of the video is quite high and really makes you see why such a suit would be useful. This isn’t necessarily a shock given the space (high production-value VR videos are essentially a must), but it’s still nice to see!

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