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A Gaming Vest That Makes You Feel the Frag

Illustration for article titled A Gaming Vest That Makes You Feel the Frag

The Tactile Gaming Vest (TGV) doesn't just react when you get shelled in a game. It transmits a different sensation depending on the kind of hit you take. Talk about augmented reality.

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The TGV is a haptic feedback device that uses solenoids, eccentric-mass motors, and Peltier elements—all controlled by custom electronics and a personal computer—to give users the ultimate immersive experience:

When the player's character experiences injury in the game, the vest simulates the appropriate sensation (bullet hit, vibration, and/or heat) in the correct location on the player's body.

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It's not the first feedback gaming vest, but it's the first I've seen that distinguishes between a gun shot, a slash, and a pewpew. The grad students who developed it did so by expanding on this product from TN Games. The TGV's still in the development stages, with some kinks to be worked out, but the potential for both gaming and movie-going is pretty incredible.

Although isn't part of the fun of video games that you can get shot without feeling it? Naahhhh. [iRoboticist via MAKE]

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DISCUSSION

For all the people who will inevitably call this a dumb idea, this is something I would totally consider buying once it hit a price point between $100-200. People play games for immersion, and that's something this would sure as hell accomplish.

While most people here might initially think of a game like say Call of Duty or Bioshock (or any other generic shooter where you basically have two types of impacts - projectiles / explosions), imagine playing something like Quake Live with this (a browser based version of the classic Quake III for those of you who are unfamiliar with it). Just think of how awesome it would be to instantly know when someone nails you with a railgun shot from across the map because you felt an abrupt *THUMP* in your back (say the rail hit you from behind). Say a rocket explodes nearby you, some of the rumble packs would go off in the corner of the vest nearest the explosion (or perhaps the whole vest would shake, accompanied by a solenoid punch if you got hit dead on). Getting hit by plasma balls? A steady *fwump* *fwump* *fwump* *fwump* *fwump* pumping of a light solenoid into whatever part of your torso you're being hit on.

While some tweaking would obviously be necessary to make sure the solenoids aren't overpowered at all, this type of experience could be absolutely amazing, and would only increase tenfold the adrenaline rush gamers get when playing an intense, stressful game (i.e. Quake, Unreal Tournament, Painkiller, or any other highly competitive shooter).

Sign me up for one when they're available.