We have already mentioned it is LBE that drives VR industry and leads HMDs to mass home usage. Arcades and other LBE centers are being launched worldwide.
So far, the majority of them propose to the clients VR based on content perception in HMD. How to improve such an experience? Teslasuit team is convinced that the more senses are involved in the virtual environment the more memorable experience LBE offer in the eyes of clients. Visual and aural components of human senses in VR give us to try brand new fantastic worlds. But soon even that would not suffice. Teslasuit team’s point of view that the next step is smart clothing integration into VR.
Let’s look at the most common questions that come to mind as regards VR smart clothing with haptic feedback technology.
How can smart clothing change VR experience?
Customers visit LBE to get excitement that they cannot experience in the real world. We live in the age of sensory deprivation, of visual overstimulation. Haptics makes the experience more realistic, and yet more unusual, departing from the comfortable media of TV, movies, and gaming consoles.
Remember excitement and adrenaline rush of playing paintball? The possibility of pain, of getting hit brings new level of excitement to the game!
Haptic feedback engages and greatly enhances primary emotions: fear, anger, joy. Haptic feedback makes experience more personal, deep, immersive.
For all kinds of battle and war games, “hurt and get hurt” is the motto. They are all about battle rush, and haptics delivers it like never before.
Tactile feeling is the perception channel through which we get the significant part of the information from the world around. Haptic technology is becoming an integral one to experience VR after visualization and sound.
The most evident, safe and noninvasive way to deliver sensations from VR to entire body is smart clothing. It aims to be further step on the road to full immersion virtual environment.
Smart clothing opens up new levels of content perception in VR and even change behavioral models in games.
Can haptic feedback solve motion sickness problem in VR?
There are several causes of motion sickness in VR. The first one, and perhaps the most common, is discrepancy between the refresh rate of picture and the speed the brain processes this information. More specifically, our brain processes the data much faster than current VR equipment. As a result the delays in receiving information can cause motion sickness.
The second case concerns the resolution of animation. When it is of poor quality, a person can experience motion sickness as the discord appears between what he sees and what the brain expects or used to see.
The third reason of motion sickness in VR is disparity between the visual and vestibular stimuli. This may be due to glitches or content peculiar properties. In addition, if according to the plot of the experience, a player should move the head fast, the effect of motion sickness can be intensified.
On the one hand, the powerful equipment with high refresh rate is necessary to avoid glitches on the screen. Also, high resolution of animation significantly improves the perception of VR experience.
On the other hand, haptic feedback brings one more sense into virtual reality that slows down the pace of the experience. That is to say, one more perception channel requires the brain to additional load. Besides, tactile feelings can reduce the speed of movements in virtual reality because a person is forced to process the info slower.
Thus, the answer is yes, haptic feedback can solve the motion sickness problem partially or completely thanks to changing the psychology of the player’s game.
What is the difference between smart clothing’s haptic feedback based on EMS and vibration?
Vibrotactile feedback is the popular haptics’ type. This type of stimulators pressure definite human skin receptors.
On one hand, haptic feedback based on vibration is cheap, easily controlled and powered. Vibrotactile feedback requires small power consumption and fewer tracking parameters.
On the other hand, vibration cannot transfer the diversity and depth of sensations. In addition, vibrating motors are especially difficult to miniaturize efficiently. Moreover, if used long enough vibrotactile feedback can result in deep penetration, negatively affecting joints and ligaments.
Electrotactile stimulators affect not only receptors but also the nerve endings with mild electrical impulses.Sensations can also vary depending on the current, material, voltage, form of a wave, contact force, electrode size, hydration and skin type. It’s thanks to such a diversity player can experience almost the whole range of sensations that we have in real life.
Unlike vibration, electrotactile feedback can transmit the feel a breeze, texture, weight and weather, for example, precipitation like rain and snow, and countless others.
The haptic library of Teslasuit provides a range of sensations ready for transmitting, or you can create your own sensations that best correspond to the content of VR experience.
How to choose the size of smart clothing?
There is no universal smart clothing. To be honest, as well as there are no universal helmets because if you have a head small in size you will feel uncomfortable, trying to hold it on the head, not to mention the weight of an HMD.
First of all, it is necessary to choose the clothing to match the height and measurements around chest, waist and hips. Also it is worth take into account sleeve length.
As Teslasuit practice shows, LBE and arcades should purchase 3-4 sizes to encompass more than 90 % of adults.
The situation with the necessary size range of Teslasuit is simplified with stretch fabrics, when one size fits more people.
How to comply with the hygiene requirements related to smart clothes in LBE?
Indeed, there is skepticism about the fact that in arcades and LBEs it is necessary to wear clothes that another person wore. But what about HMD? The only difference is contact area with the skin, and microorganisms and bacteria are the same. Smart clothes made of specific fabric are able to absorb sweat, while HMD don’t.
Actually, meeting the hygiene requirements in LBE and arcades is very important for business reputation. It can contribute to positive customer feedback or reduce the number of negative reviews.
Teslasuit team proposes several easy ways to maintain high hygiene level of the fabrics supported by research.
One of the most easy-to-apply methods is silver-ion spray which inhibits the survival of bacteria or viruses. Ionic silver is a safe, naturally occurring antimicrobial and offers durable protection. The research “Silver in Health Care: Antimicrobial Effects and Safety in Use” (Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK) states that “inherent risks of using silver in wound care, medical devices or in textiles
are predictably low”. Also this research confirms the effectiveness of metallic silver and silver compounds in controlling pathogenic organisms. Besides, according to scientists’ opinion of Silver Health Institute “silver kill pathogens like strep and staph and pseudomonas and yeast, but doesn’t kill our good intestinal flora”.
The other method of antibacterial treatment of VR smart clothing is ultraviolet (UV). Ultraviolet lamps sterilize workspaces and tools used in biological laboratories and health-care facilities.
There are such processes like UV disinfection, UV decontamination, UV sterilisation and UV sanitisation. That is to say, the effectiveness of UV light can’t be challenged. UV-C light is a kind of shortwave UV ligh. It kills such organisms as bacteria, fungi, and yeasts instantly without the need of using chemicals. It’s proven by the scientists of Winston-Salem State University in the research “The effects of ultraviolet radiation on antibiotic-resistant bacteria” that UV-C is bactericidal even for some antibiotic-resistant strains.
One of the options of UV bactericidal treatment is the small room or sealed closet with UV germicidal lamps. They disinfect air and surfaces in the room, disinfection of drinking water, sterilization of objects and medical instruments. UV germicidal lamps neutralize the bulk of microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, mold, fungi, yeast, spores, etc. Its advantage in comparison with quartz lamps is that there is no need to ventilate space.
Taking into account all the above, smart clothing will be included into LBE services sooner or later. Adding our 3d sense, touch, along with our largest organ, skin, to VR environment is revolutionary innovation. It raises the technology itself to a new level. We are used to that clothing is an individual thing, but at this stage of virtual reality development smart garments are universal devices that suitable for most people and can be easily changed when applying the latest technologies.