These researchers want to stimulate your muscles so you can feel VR

One of the biggest reasons your immersion breaks in VR is a lack of feeling. If you’re playing a game and get hit, or if you bump into a wall, you feel nothing (unless it’s your real living room wall, of course). That throws off your brain, which believes, visually and audibly, that it’s in a whole different world.

Researcher Pedro Lopes and his team, Patrick Baudisch, Sijing You, Lung-Pan Cheng and Sebastian Marwecki at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, might have found a solution: electrically stimulate your muscles so you feel what’s happening in VR.

They’ve created a wearable that sends small electric shocks to your muscles. Specifically, it sends electric shocks to your opposing muscles. So, if you’re pushing a block in VR, it’ll send shocks to muscles that make it feel like you’re pushing something. The entire rig has eight electrodes attached to the bicep, tricep, forearm and shoulder of each arm. Those are connected to a muscle stimulator, which is connected to a laptop running a VR simulator in a backpack.

Electrically-stimulated muscle technology isn’t exactly a world-changing breakthrough. It’s been used by physical therapists for a while, and Lopes has been toying with it for a couple years now, previously making a smaller version just for the upper arm. However, this new system works for the upper body. It also comes with refinements made after Lopes and his team found there were problems with the initial design.

By Husain Sumra | Wareable

Photo Credit: Pedro Lopes


About Peter Coffaro 629 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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