Via Boy Genius Report:
A team of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) lab at Germany’s Hasso Plattner Institute have created working prototypes of a device they call Impacto. The device is integrated into a band that can be worn on the arm, leg or foot of a virtual reality user. When combined with a VR experience that incorporates the HCI researchers’ special software, Impacto simulates contact on the wearer so that he or she can actually feel objects virtual reality. At least, to an extent.
Examples demonstrated by the team include a boxing game where the user can actually feel the impact from blocked punches on his or her arm, and a game where the player bounces a soccer ball on his or her foot and can feel each strike.
Of note, Impacto isn’t a simple vibrate motor shoved into a plastic box. The device combines a haptic vibration engine with electrical muscle stimulation to actually create a sensation of pushing or pulling, therefore more closely mimicking the feeling of contact from actual physical objects.