Are you ready for a deepdive into the Internet of Touch / Tactile Internet, whose vision is to elevate the sense of Touch above Audio and Video?
Last week Google presented an interesting project called: Project Starline. “Feel like you're there, together” is the motto. I'm a heavy Google user, and although Holograms and 3D immersive communication spark my attention, IMHO the scope of the Starline is short and the buzz is just as big as the budget that they have available.
Don't get me wrong, the double meaning of the verb and noun Feel can explain my reaction, therefore in this article we'll be focusing on Feel as a noun, meaning the act of touching something to examine it, or a sensation given by an object or material when touched.
Back in 2015, the World Economic Forum asked: will we be able to “feel” things on the internet?
Indeed, the topic has been featured in many movies and now it's far from Sci-Fi and getting closer to reality. Of all the five senses, maybe this is the one that can be tickled the fastest. This will not only redefine remote control but also the way we consume digital content and live experiences.
To illustrate this point, here's a curated list of some devices doing just that:
- Earlier this year HaptX launched new and improved DK2 Haptic VR Gloves - basically a gadget that can create the sensation that you’re actually touching the objects you’re seeing.
- Similar but still just a prototype Wireality, which is an experimental haptic feedback device using shoulder-mounted strings worn VR haptic system that allows for individual joints on the hands to be accurately arrested in 3D space through the use of retractable wires that can be locked.
- Also in early stage prototype, there's the ThermoCaress: a wearable haptic device with illusory moving thermal stimulation
- Woojer is a set of wearables and mobile accessories designed to allow its wearer to feel what they’re listening to on their PCs, TVs or mobile device — via the medium of haptic feedback.
- Another example, highlighted as The Best Inventions of 2020 by Times, CuteCircuit SoundShirt creates immersive augmented and virtual reality experiences thanks to the additional haptic actuation modules.
Last but not the least, and possibly the most famous, check out Bhaptics, the next generation full body haptic suit and the closest that you can get to experiencing Ready Player One, IRL.
Before you start buying gadgets like crazy, check out these real life use cases:
- New Sensation: pioneering mind-controlled arm restores sense of touch (2021)
- ‘HairTouch’ VR Controller that Lets You Pet A Virtual Cat Because Why Not? (2021)
- YouTuber tests Haptic Feedback (2020)
Ready to start experiencing the feeling of Touch on the internet?
Here are some upcoming events where Immersive Technologies will be discussed:
- HardwareCon 2021 - Jun 8, 2021
- XR Women and Women in Immersive Tech Speed Networking at the iLRN 2021 Conference on June 9, 2021
- NewImages Festival - June 9-13, 2021
- MUSEUM XR SUMMIT - July 12-14, 2021
Let's stay in touch! If you want to discuss more about the Internet of Senses, I'm here ✋
Check out my previous articles about the Internet of Senses:
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash