Microsoft explores realistic VR haptics with a wrist-mounted gadget


While it can look a bit goofy in action, the design of the Haptic PIVOT allows it to recreate the sensation you feel when you first make contact with an object. That’s something current haptic controllers, including ones that feature glove designs, have trouble replicating realistically. 

Another advantage of the PIVOT is that the handles retract when they’re not in use. Microsoft says that it allows you to use it with a keyboard and mouse. It’s just as easy to imagine how that feature could allow you to use it with another VR controller, opening up interesting opportunities for game developers. “Introducing the wrist form factor, or design, into our offerings presented an opportunity to provide a wider range of actions without interfering with the physical environment around the player,” the team that worked on the design said.

To be clear, the Haptic PIVOT is a research project, and we may never see Microsoft commercialize the design. But it could inspire other companies to approach the problem of VR haptics in similarly inventive ways.

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