‘Virtual Reality,’ an immersive world that allows us to live lives we have never thought possible. The handheld controllers have been the primary tool you need to use to interact with the digital environment. But now, it seems like virtual reality world might have a hands-free future or at least the one where you do not need to hold controllers to feel feedback.
Facebook has recently revealed a prototype wrist-worn haptic VR/AR device called ‘Tasbi.’ The device is actually a wristband that uses a combination of squeezes and vibrations to let you feel what you’re doing in-game. It sends various types of haptic feedback through the wearers’ hands and wrists.
The device was unveiled at the World Haptics Conference 2019, and the idea is you’d wear one Tasbi unit on each wrist which lets you get a sensation when you pick up objects, push buttons or touch a surface. Tasbi has a set of small boxes (tactors) linked with the large box (quite bigger than a smartwatch) given at the center of the wristband. The large box houses a haptic actuator, while each of the smaller boxes has its own actuator, so vibrations can be precisely controlled.
In software, visual tricks can suggest the press of a button by showing a finger ceasing movement once it collides with the object. The wrist-based haptic device provided most of the sensation even though it doesn’t touch any fingers. Each tactor in the Tasbi uses a smooth pin such that it is decoupled from the band, which researchers claim produces “pure, uniform normal forces while maintaining tractor radial positions.”
The wristbands could be paired with a VR/AR device’s own computer vision system for detecting hand and finger motions. Additionally, the device could use a probing electrical signal to detect the position of your fingers.
Tasbi doesn’t have an actual release date, price tag, and also it is not known that the product will go shipping. A full research paper detailing the project is expected to be published in a few weeks, Upload VR reports.