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World’s First Haptic Rugby Tackle

5G power demonstration from Vodafone powered by TESLASUIT



What is used

So far as demonstrations of 5G know-how go, Vodafone’s is certainly among the many most unusual. In 2019, Vodafone held a world-first demonstration of the power of 5G to transmit touch using the Teslasuit haptic technology. Two players from Wasps rugby team were able to run a training session despite being more than 100 miles apart.

How it works

The impact of a rugby tackle made by Will Rowlands at the Ricoh stadium in Coventry was transferred via 5G to teammate Juan de Jongh on stage in London. De Jongh, in a specially developed haptic Teslasuit, was able to feel the force of the tackle in realtime thanks to Vodafone’s high speed and super low latency 5G.

  • Player tackles a pressure sensitive tackle cylinder containing a 3-axis accelerometer.
  • The impact is communicated to a laptop running bespoke software which registers the force as either “hard”, “medium” or “light” tackle.
  • The information is sent over Vodafone’s 5G network.
  • The information is received by another laptop running the control software for the full body haptic TESLASUIT.
  • The suit replicates the impact as a set of pre-coded electrical stimulations of the muscles in the region of a safe impact zone.