Warm up your thumbs, gamers, because future video game controllers may provide even more ways to feel the world of the game. Engineers from the University of Utah have produced a prototype controller featuring thumb sticks with sections that can move independently of the gamer’s fingers. Sensations such as a nibble on a video game fishing line can now be communicated to the gamer through subtle, directional stretching of the thumb’s skin.
Controllers like these are examples of haptic technology—tech that interfaces with people through touch. If you own a phone with a vibrate function, you’re already acquainted with haptics. Research in haptics may someday give us more sophisticated telepresence robots, improved safety features for drivers, and maybe even realistic-feeling virtual reality games. What inventions would you improve through haptics?
Image: University of Utah News Center
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