In recent years, virtual reality has gone a long way in terms of generating unreal environments and unprecedented tactile experiences. However, researchers have struggled to recreate an appropriate representation of our most precious touch feelings, such as kissing.
According to a video from Carnegie Mellon University, the Future Interfaces Group has modified an off-the-shelf virtual reality headset to recreate the sense of touch on a wearer''s face more effectively, kissing on the mouth without adding any parts that actually cover the area.
Making the most of ultrasonic transducers
"We created a thin, compact, beamforming array of ultrasonic transducers that would be integrated into future headsets in a practical and consumer-friendly manner," said the researchers on their website.
"We use this technology to focus air-borne acoustic energy onto the lips and into the mouth," the researchers said, resulting in sensations such as taps and continuous vibrations, which we can also animate along arbitrary 3D paths. "In addition to the lips, our effects can be felt on the teeth and tongue, according to expert recommendations. "We have a strong sense of realism and immersion"
The group claims that they designed a variety of sensory demos, including raindrops, mud splatter, pushing through cobwebs, and crawling bugs. Basically, they imply that they have created simulations for virtually any sensation you can feel on your face.
A first-of-its-kind application
This is nothing short of impressive, and the group believes it is a first-of-its-kind application. "While in-air haptics using ultrasonic phased arrays is not new, we are the first to integrate the technology into a headset for use on the mouth and explore the rich application space," it adds.
It''s an enormous challenge, as we know. Without question how complex VR devices might be, we could be certain that these days we will probably be exposed to virtual reality only because we grew up in a city without having to realize something specific from a single visit to the moon or Mars. The possibilities are completely endless.