Do you care about looking stupid when you play video games?
It's a question I often ask myself when I'm setting up a new piece of virtual reality equipment. The past few days have been spent testing the KOR-FX haptic vest, a device that straps to the top half of your body and delivers vibrations to the left and right sides of your chest.
Once I got used to the sensation, I could tell approximately which wall the shots were originating from. This gave me a slight tactical advantage as I decided to pre-fire around corners more often than not, usually resulting in enemy deaths… This was a completely different experience from when I was young and used the Aura Interactor, which used speakers to create the sensations. In fact, this was better in every way. Each shell and loud movement was its own feeling, which didn’t feel gimmicky, but natural.
I'm genuinely enamoured by this hardware, and the fact that Immerz have a working final prototype to show to backers who are interested in providing funds, speaks for itself.
Yup, that's pretty immersive, I'll give you that. You can certainly feel the noises, the gunfire, the footsteps as they happen and you do get a sense of which direction they are coming from.
Isolated in headphones and the vest even in a noisy convention center, I felt more aware of what was going on in the game. It sort of acted as just one more tool of sensory at my disposal to keep me aware of what was going on in the game whether it was the location of explosions or gunfire.
I expected a one-to-one vibration-to-action mechanic, but was surprised by the emotional reaction I had to the vibrations. The idea is to engage your body via the vibrations in the vest, heightening your emotional connection to the game, more so than just recreating physical actions like explosions, body hits, or bullets.
I wore one while playing Call of Duty: Ghosts and while the gameplay started slowly, the action quickly picked up when I fired my weapon and the vest vibrated accordingly. It added to the gaming experience and could prove very useful especially if games are designed with KOR-FX in mind.
[KOR-FX] relies on 4DFX, an acousto-haptic technology that produces high-definition environmental feedback. It not only allows you to feel explosions but will also thump - for instance - at the right side of your chest if that area has been hit by shrapnel in the video game. It'll do the same for bullets, etc.
Sound cues represented themselves in the vest as accurate, precise vibrations on my chest that let my body know exactly the direction where the sound was coming from. Working in tandem with a surround sound system, the KOR-FX gaming vest can potentially give players positional awareness of both themselves and enemies that is otherwise not present normally while playing games.
With startups interacting with zealous gamers, advancing tech is adding dimensions to video games and other entertainment - so much so it might soon help users feel the ping of a digital gunshot.
Haptic gaming vests have been worked on in the past, but those never really made it to mainstream consciousness, which is something the KOR-FX haptic vest intends to change.
That pounding in your chest when the action gets really intense in a video game or movie takes on a new dimension with the KOR-FX 4DFX, an adjustable and lightweight vest that translates audio into subtle vibrations that are meant to help you feel where explosions occur and gunshots comes from - or simply to better enjoy your favorite music.
If you are a competitive gamer, you know that every edge you can gain is worth squeezing for all its worth. If you are playing a first-person shooter, for example, any chance to expand your knowledge of the surroundings can be the difference between a win and a loss. So what if you could physically feel where enemies were? That''s what Immerz promises with KOR-FX, a high-tech, wireless vest featuring multiple sensors that produce haptic feedback.
Best of CES 2014
Back when Immerz chief executive Shahriar Afshar was just a controversial physicist , he was giving a summertime lecture and had to stay in university temporary housing. As he fired off e-mails to colleagues, however, he found himself becoming distracted by the kids next door , who were firing off virtual rounds of ammo at full blast in some loud, obnoxious video game.
And he was annoyed.
ABC News Radio
It really does give you that feeling like you are in the game… Every gunshot, you can hear it and you can feel it.
AOL On Tech
The new KOR-FX isn't a plain old chest-mounted rumble pack.
This is a great direction for gaming, and I've been playing FPS shooters and LAN for 20 years…Was that a rush for anyone else?!